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For a certain crowd who for the past couple of years have made Hamra their preferred watering hole, spending their nights drinking and dancing in the area's plentiful restaurants, bars and clubs, the announcement Tuesday that electro club Uberhaus would be closing its doors for good was the final nail in the coffin. Beirut's party scene is notoriously transitory, its epicenter moving from one area to another every few years. The process of urban gentrification witnessed in Monnot in the 1990s, Gemmayzeh in the early 2000s and Hamra over the past few years is already underway in Mar Mikhael, much to the delight of developers and the disgust of local residents faced with increased traffic, late-night noise and skyrocketing rents. There are several reasons, Saliba says, for Hamra's demise as the city's premier nightspot.Bodo opened a branch in Mar Mikhael in August last year and another in Uruguay Street in December. Beydoun insists that Bodo Hamra is still popular and is in no danger of closing, but admits that overall the area is changing. Home to a single bar in 2008, by 2012 the Alleyway was lined from one end to the other with competing establishments.One area that so far seems unaffected by Hamra's changing demographic is the Estral building's clutch of bars, which attract a diverse crowd of all ages.
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