LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Nov 28, 1:28 AM EST

Prison-themed restaurant in Egypt draws in curious diners


AP Photo
AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty

Latest News
4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt
Women join fight against female circumcision
Cheap electronics threaten Egyptian repairmen
Prominent Egyptian lawyer wins human rights prize

Egypt says Mubarak-era security chief arrested

Former Egyptian PM to 'further study' presidential run

UN voices alarm about spread of HIV in Egypt

US defense secretary meets with Egyptian officials in Cairo

Document
FBI Preliminary Crime Report, Jan.-June 2005
Multimedia
Memphis in May Barbecue Competition
Multimedia
Summer grilling recipes
Cream-filled chocolate eggs
Buffalo Wings
Potato Chip and Pretzel Baked Chicken
Crispy Baked Cod
Bacon Barley Risotto
Kid-Friendly Focaccia
Indian Pudding
Dinner Biscuits
Popovers
Jerky Chili
Brown Butter Pasta
Freezer Jams
Summer snacks
Crafting the perfect deviled egg
How to make quick puff pastry
Fresh flatbread is quick, easy

MANSOURA, Egypt (AP) -- A prison-themed restaurant in Egypt? It might seem distasteful in a country where thousands of people, mostly Islamists but also secular pro-democracy activists, are languishing in jail on what right groups say are trumped-up charges.

Yet, the restaurant in the coastal city of Mansoura called "Food Crime" is doing good business because of its novelty, according to patrons. Props like handcuffs, inmate number plaques, a prisoners' cage and even an electric chair are served up as welcome selfie-fodder.

"It's a catchy idea and I did not want to do something that is traditional," said the restaurant's owner, Waleed Naeem, 37. "Our prices are competitive - our most expensive sandwich on the menu is just 15 pounds (84 U.S. cents)."

Naeem is irked by anyone who tries to link the restaurant's theme to the large-scale crackdown on dissent since the military ousted an Islamist president in 2013.

"The people of Mansoura really like this restaurant and think it's a great idea. But others are making a huge deal out of this on social media," said Naeem, who has refused to give media interviews to news outlets that want him to speak about what his eatery symbolizes.

"My restaurant is not political," said Naeem, who maintains that the idea of Food Crime was inspired by similar establishments in South Korea, China and Italy. "I don't think it has anything to do with real prisons and those inside them."

The restaurant's unusual decor attracts many in Mansoura, like Yasmeen Khouly.

"The idea is crazy, but it's all about trying something new and seeing what's out there, she said after eating there with a friend.

"Obviously seeing handcuffs and an electric chair is strange."

Engineer Ahmed Atef, however, said the environment reminded him of his days in the army, and "the prisons I used to see when I served."

The motif has even drawn in policemen like Amr El Gohary, who said he was impressed by features of the "amazing decor," like the handcuffs and a metal cage that allowed him to engage in some role reversal.

"Obviously it made me love this place. The experience of eating in the cage was interesting because being a policeman, I'm the one who puts people in handcuffs and prisons."

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.