Restaurant gains popularity after Uhuru’s lunch visit

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) when he went for lunch at Barka Restaurant in Mombasa's Old Town on Saturday afternoon August 30, 2014. The visit took many by surprise. PHOTO | COURTESY | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a surprise visit at Barka and enjoyed his lunch on Saturday afternoon August 30, 2014.
  • Many who were at the hotel were taken by surprise by the President's visit.
  • A few days after the President’s visit, the restaurant has witnessed an increase in sales and in the number of customers visiting it.
  • Saada Hamid, the manager of the restaurant, said thhe President’s visit showed how humble he is.

Tucked away at the entrance of the Old Town – one of the oldest towns in Mombasa’s history – Barka Restaurant is popularly known for its Swahili and Arabic traditional dishes that attract both locals and foreigners.

It was here that President Uhuru Kenyatta decided to pay a surprise visit and enjoy his lunch on Saturday afternoon August 30, 2014.

Since then, it has become a bee hive of activity.

President Kenyatta together with a few MPs from the coast stopped over at the restaurant while he was in Mombasa last week, to the surprise of many who were present at the eating point.

“I was at the cashier going on with our normal business when all of sudden I saw the President walking in and greeting everyone,” Said Ms Saada Hamid the manager of the restaurant.

FRIENDLY

She added, “At first I was paralysed with shock, but I managed to overcome it and I was further surprised at how friendly the President is.

“He talked to everyone as if they were his equals. After the greetings he went straight to the VIP lounge.”

At first his order was only for snacks but later sampled more of the meals that were available – with his security detail not being left behind in the sampling.

“After the meal he stayed for a while. We took some pictures with him and his people paid the bill,” Ms Hamid said.

Although Barka Restaurant was opened four years ago the VIP lounge was opened in December 2014 and has a sitting capacity of 30 to 50 people.

“Since the opening of the VIP lounge we have had several distinguished guests – but none of them have been of his stature,” Ms Hamid said.

A few days after the President’s visit, the restaurant has witnessed an increase in sales and in the number of customers visiting it.

“The President’s visit also shows how humble he is,” said Ms Hamid.

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