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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Feeling hungry in Doha? New Cafe #999 comes to the rescue

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All photos by Reem Saad

A new café and food truck called #999 have opened at the Doha Fire Station, offering a place for people to relax in a hurry.

The eatery is adjacent to the former Civil Defense building’s art studio.

It features several menu items with a local touch, including a camel kofta wrap, a sujuk (Arabic sausage) burger and sparkling iced tea flavored with saffron.

There are also “nutrition shots,” paninis, soups, salads and pastries, as well as caffeinated beverages, with most items ranging from QR20 to QR40 each.

نقدم لكم البرجر.. بحُلته الجديدة • Sujuk Burger: Introducing… burger art

A video posted by Doha Fire Station (@dohafirestation) on

Commenting on the venue’s name, which references the emergency phone number in Qatar, general manager Tamer Lachine said, “We refer to the café as a place where people need to relax urgently.”

Café #999 – a collaboration between Qatar Museums and Salam Hospitality – officially opened to the public on Saturday.

Its unveiling signals a new stage in the development of the Fire Station complex, which will eventually also house a restaurant, an art supply shop and a cinema.

Food truck

Alongside its dine-in menu, the café offers simple take-out meals from a specially-branded food truck outside.

Cafe #999's food truck
Cafe #999’s food truck

The truck is Qatar’s second oldest fire engine, and may travel around the country to sell its wares at some point, Lachine told Doha News:

“We don’t plan to take it out on the road yet because for now we just want it to be part of the station, but maybe in the future we will,” he said.

The #999’s truck is the second food truck to open in Qatar. Popular restaurant Burgeri already has a roving food truck that sells burgers, fries and drinks at various spots around the country.

Meanwhile, Qatar Museums has begun vetting potential food truck operators ahead of plans to set up five such businesses at the MIA Park after the summer.

Fire Station project

The Fire Station building was built in 1982. It was handed over to QM in 2012 for redevelopment after Civil Defense relocated to a new, larger premises nearby.

Artist Emelina Soares and Sheikha Mayassa at Fire Station open studios
Artist Emelina Soares and Sheikha Mayassa at Fire Station open studios

The venue opened to the public last year after the interior of the building was stripped and re-purposed to create galleries, art spaces and studios with an industrial and minimalist vibe.

There are artists’ studios on five floors, while the former garage for the fire trucks has been transformed into a gallery.

And last month, the Fire Station opened its first annual exhibition of works created during its artists-in-residence program.

Cafe #999 is open daily from 8am to 11pm, and 2 to 11pm on Fridays.

The Fire Station gallery itself has shorter hours, however. It is open Sunday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm, and closed on Tuesdays.

Do you plan to check out #999? Thoughts?

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