After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in management information systems, Omar Tabbaa joined the French Culinary Institute in New York in 2003 and later earned a position in the rotational program at upscale New York restaurant Brasserie 8½, to pursue a career in the restaurant business back in his home country Jordan. Omar launched EAT in 2004. With graffiti-scribbled plates, neon colors splashed across the floor,
and vintage Arabic movie posters, dinner at one of EAT’s restaurants is about
much more than just food. Each location uses creative dishes and elaborately
themed décor to provide customers with a unique casual dining experience.
Today EAT manages 16 restaurants under four distinct brands: Casereccio
is a Tuscan-inspired Italian restaurant, Lemon is an international-style bistro,
Azkadenya is a retro Arabic restaurant, and Café Social is a casual lounge and
diner. This formula has proved so popular, it has led to EAT’s expansion beyond
Jordan; there are six EAT restaurants in Bahrain, Palestine, and the UAE. In
2016, EAT is focused on further expansion within MENA and plans to open eight
new outlets in Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar.