A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

unhappy milestones: 1111 days + $47

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 2, 2008

On Friday H & I had a lovely dinner at Scallywags with several friends. Lovely, at least, until we received the bill. Ouch! Scallywags’ prices have been rising faster than those at my grocery, and much faster than those at any other restaurant I frequent.

One year ago, Scallywags charged $25 per person for its prix-fix meal, including wine, taxes and tip. By last fall, the cost of dining there had risen to $35/6. And on Friday, we were each charged $41 – before tip. Its a nice restaurant, and the food is always good – but a $47 meal in Beirut should be more than good. It should be out-of-this-world spectacular.

On the way home, another number caught my eye: the 1111 on the Hariri billboard at the start of Bank Street/Hamra. It must have just turned – Friday was the 1110th day since his assassination.

In the US, when digital clocks announce all-one-digit or symmetrical times, like 5:55 or 12:12, someone usually says: Make a wish. But I have so many wishes for this country that settling on just one is hard to do.

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2 Responses to “unhappy milestones: 1111 days + $47”

  1. maarten said

    I guess the prices rose dramatically because the dollar dropped dramatically

  2. Maarten, you could very well be right. On the other hand, Lebanese currency is pegged to the dollar, so the dollar’s depreciation has affected the local currency to the same degree (and we are all paid in Lebanese pounds – I’m just quoting the price in dollars for readers’ convenience).

    Furthermore, none of the other restaurants we go to have changed their prices dramatically. In fact, most have not changed their prices at all.

    I don’t object to restaurants raising their prices to keep up with inflation, which has been 8-9% over the past year, I believe. But Scallywags has raised its prices 88%.

    To me, this is price gouging. I like the food, but I prefer to give my business to proprietors who show more respect for their customers.

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