Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 09:21 UK

Lebanese food served with a bang

Buns Guns menu (picture courtesy of Manar TV)
Diners are encouraged to laugh - rather than dive for cover

A fast-food restaurant in Beirut's war-torn southern suburb has hit upon an explosive way to attract customers.

Buns and Guns is made out to look like a military post and diners eat to the sound of gunfire instead of muzak.

Owner Yousef Ibrahim presents rebranded Lebanese favourites like the "rocket-propelled grenade" (chicken on a skewer) and "terrorist bread".

"They accuse us of terrorism, so let's serve terrorist bread, why not?" Mr Ibrahim told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

Ibrahim Yousef (courtesy of Manar TV)
You noticed the moment I opened the place, there was a lot of business
Yousef Ibrahim
Other dishes include the Kalashnikov, Dragunov, Viper, B52, while realistic-looking weapons and ammunition decorate the counters, and camouflage netting hangs from the ceiling.

Beirut has recently passed through another round of civil strife when pro-government partisans and those of the Hezbollah-led opposition fought street battles in west Beirut.

But that does not necessarily mean that the customers think the restaurant is in bad taste.

Buns and Guns (motto: A sandwich can kill you) is located in a strongly Hezbollah-supporting area, where the group's militia is lionised by many.

"My goal was to make people laugh before they ask me why weapons. The important thing is that they laugh," Mr Ibrahim said.

He insists the only way his sandwiches could kill the customers is by their generous proportions.

"It attracts customers in an unconventional way. You noticed the moment I opened the restaurant, there was a lot of business," he told the al-Manar correspondent, who later tucked into an RPG sandwich.

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