On the 14th of August 2007, we proudly opened our Espresso Bar!
In the year that followed, we worked to open our Cocktail Bar and Bistro. Today, our family business has reunited us, four brothers and our parents and sisters, as we welcome you to Versavee—our second home.
I wanted to develop something posh and unique, like our location in the Old City of Jerusalem. At the time, I was living in London and wanted to help my little brother to open a small shop. When we heard about this space, I was inspired with a vision to restore the passages of this building and chose to return from London to take on this project.
The idea was to have a bar, something distinctly lacking in the Old City. And with my extensive, daily experience in the bars of London, I knew that we could build for Jerusalem a dynamic meeting spot. The part which is our Espresso Bar had been boarded up for the last few years, our restaurant area was shut for the last several decades, and the area that is now our Cocktail Bar has been closed for 41 years.
The bar is called Versavee, after the building, which has borne this name since its erection in 1889. The name Versavee comes from the Latin word meaning the "saviour's way" or the "way of life"—an apt name as our work has been to return life to this amazing space.
The building where we are located is unique and even controversial due to a column, a Roman milestone, dating from the year 70 AD. Furthermore, the building was the first shopping centre in the Holy Land, boasting a long and rich history.
Dreaming of its past glory, we imagined utilizing the corridors, which offer four points of entry and exit, to reclaim the building's past vitality. And so we asked an Armenian interior designer to help us realize the restoration of this abandoned area, which had declined into a mere alley used as a public toilet. Experienced workers restoring the Holy Sepulchre Church cleaned our building stone by stone. We rewired and installed lighting with artistic fixtures. Then we stocked our shelves and brought in sofas, chairs, and tables. We combined this with great service from our family to warmly welcome you to Versavee—a place that is dear to us.
My aim is to have an arty place for tourists as well as locals. In addition to the Bistro, Cocktail Bar and Espresso Bar, we have a photo gallery with black and white images. Moreover, we are developing the vibe by organizing live music nights.
Versavee has already become a hot spot for tour guides and journalists. The building is exceptionally beautiful and offers an ideal meeting place for diverse people. Great music, free wireless and delicious food and drinks beckon you.