Phara’s Mediterranean Cuisine Needs Help

Longtime North Loop restaurant starts GoFundMe campaign to stay open

For the past 10 years, Phara’s has been a beloved dining destination sandwiched between a string of vintage and consignment shops on North Loop. On April 2, Jeanette Friedman – known to her guests as Phara – shared the difficulties she is having keeping her restaurant open after a major dip in business.

Photo by John Anderson

Phara opened her message on GoFundMe saying, “It's very hard for me to ask for help.” She went on to say that customers have been scarce for months due to weather issues and other unforeseen events. Despite the fact, she persisted, hoping for a resurgence in business.

Phara also explains on the "Help Save Phara's" campaign page that although it is not in her nature to ask for help, the donation page is a last resort to keep her restaurant open. After the loss of her husband, who was a financier in the business, Phara said keeping her personal finances afloat became a cumbersome task. Nevertheless, she has kept the restaurant open for her customers who bring her great joy.

To those who have never been, Phara’s is a little pocket of the Mediterranean. Elaborate décor and a menu packed with a staple assortment of unique and traditional dishes are just the beginning. Chronicle writer Adrienne Whitehorse recently revisited the iconic spot – for the AC Date Night column – and found it as charming and tasty as ever. Whitehorse wrote, “With a genuine hostess like Phara, a cozy bohemian decor offering lots of photo ops, and a BYOB policy which saves on the overall cost of the experience, Phara's will transport you to a bygone Austin era of funky ambience and soulful hospitality.”

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