Life Conversations: Meet the men who created Pause, a new cafe and espresso bar in Lagos

An espresso bar usually sells different coffees and sandwiches, but this one has a lot more on its menu.

I met Tony Khoury and Salim Abdelnour – the partners who run the last espresso bar in Palms Mall Oniru, Lagos.

It took a long time to strategize and plan the business. Here’s how my conversation with Tony went;

When did you get the idea to set this up?

Early last year we were looking to set up a business in Lagos.

What has been the experience of running the bar so far?

“The client loves the branding and the interior, it makes them feel like they are abroad or in France.

“The general idea is just to come here to eat on the go, without long waits and being served by a friendly face.”

“But we’re in Lagos, and they love to eat jollof rice, so we’re trying to add more bulk to our diet, like ham and chicken.”

The idea behind the trade name “pause”?

“No matter what you do in life, you have to take a break.

The idea was a cozy place where people can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Lagos – to take a break, relax and refresh.

We have done surveys on the kind of names that Nigerians like. We wanted to use a French name but found out that Nigerians had been colonized by Britain and would not like a French name so we decided to use Pause as it means the same thing in French and English .”

“I also thought about calling it a bistro, but it was more like food in the evening.”

Do you do deliveries?

“Yes, deliveries are essential for the business, we would be starting very soon. We also want to have an app that you can order from. There will be specials and a breakfast of the day. That kind of stuff.”

Setting up the business

When setting up this espresso bar, Tony was very particular about what kind of bar it should be; He took his time choosing the personnel and the equipment. He only wanted the best.


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