During Immigrant Business Week (March 25 – 29), Mayor Kenney will honor several individuals who have served as community connectors for immigrant businesses in Oxford Circle. Bishara Kuttab, owner of Bisho’s Cafe & Bakery, is one of the business owners being recognized.
Bishara Kuttab spent much of his life going back-and-forth between Jerusalem and Philadelphia. Nearly six years ago, Bishara made the move official. He has called Philadelphia his home ever since. In 2017, Bishara opened Bisho’s Cafe & Bakery, a Middle Eastern eatery in Oxford Circle.
“I’ve always wanted to open a Middle Eastern restaurant that was a little different than your typical,” Bishara says. “The Middle Eastern restaurants that open here are more Americanized. I always wanted to open a place that was more authentic in terms of food, in terms of the setting, and all of that.”
Growing up, Bishara’s family introduced him to both cooking and business, which helped solidify his dream of opening a restaurant. “It was always my dream to have my own business, and restaurants were always in the background,” he says. “On my dad’s side, they’re all business men, on my mom’s side, they’re all cooks.” Bishara is the merger of the two, with both the passion for cooking and an interest in business.
Much of the food served at Bisho’s may seem like traditional lunch and dinner options, but Bishara notes that, “for us, a lot of the menu items are Middle Eastern breakfast.” Things like flatbread, dips, humus, and falafel are traditionally served as breakfast foods — but at Bisho’s you’re welcome to enjoy them anytime of the day.
Bishara recommends that customers try Bisho’s signature dessert, knafe. “It’s basically dough on top, cheese on the bottom,” Bishara explains. “It’s eaten hot and it’s doused in syrup.”