Mecca Bah restaurant in Manuka closes

Natasha Rudra
Mecca Bah
Mecca Bah Photo: Graham Tidy GGT

Mecca Bah restaurant has announced it will close in Manuka.

The Mediterranean eatery on the upper level at Manuka Terrace was part of a larger series of Mecca Bah restaurants that includes outlets in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. 

General manager Arthur Marusevich said the restaurant had been operating for 15 years but new restaurant hotspots such as Braddon had put pressure on the market and the restaurant would close on August 1.

"People are looking for new flavours, people are looking for new options and the drive from Kingston Foreshore, NewActon and probably Lonsdale Street have taken probably a lot of customers away," he said. "We still have our loyal ones but it's not enough to sustain [the business.]."

"Every restaurant in this town opens and closes in a year so we've survived pretty well," he said. "The turnover is really high."

The Canberra restaurant was owned by the Platinum Restaurant Group, which purchased it in 2010. The decision to close was announced publicly late on Wednesday.

Marusevich said he had undertaken to find new jobs for each of his 11 staff.

"Everything is being done properly," he said.

Marusevich said he wanted to thank the restaurant's long time customers. "We're very sad that we have to take this decision but nonetheless we're very happy that we've met some wonderful people in Canberra who have been our customers," he said. 

He said the restaurant had been featured in James Button's political memoir Speechless. "In the book he mentions Mecca Bah to be.. the perfect spot for all the politicians to come and discuss their agenda," he said.

Marusevich said the Manuka precinct could benefit from a revamp to boost business.  "[People] all complain about how the current government has taken even the slightest help. They've even shut down the bus stand which is another indication that there is less traffic going through the area. The other parts of Canberra have taken the drive away."