Elvis in Jerusalem
The Elvis Inn at Abu Ghosh
The Palestinian Arab town of Abu Ghosh lies inside Israel,
just off Route 1, the highway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. Legend has it
that the town was named for a 19th century bandit who was granted the
right, by the Ottomans, to collect 'taxes' from all travellers passing
along the road.
In 1948 when the Israelis over-ran the town, the inhabitants
fled for safety to the French Catholic monastery and Church of Notre
Dame de l'Arche de l'Alliance (Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant). It
was the presence of the French Monks observing the actions of the
Israelis which is credited with saving the town from being destroyed
and the inhabitants killed as happened to so many other Arab villages
during Israel's early days. Their homes were looted by the poorly
controlled soldiers, but not destroyed.
Today the town has become known for its many restaurants. It
is the only place in the Jerusalem area (other than Palestinian East
Jerusalem where Israelis fear to go) where secular Jews (and the
non-Jewish minority) can dine out on Friday night or Saturday, the
Jewish sabbath. This niche marketing has paid off as one can easily
see. The restaurants of Abu Gosh are packed on Fridays and Saturdays.
The most unlikely eatery in the region is just off Route 1
heading into Abu Ghosh. The Elvis Inn is so bad it's great. In front is
a huge statue of 'the King'. Inside, the walls are covered with Elvis
memorabilia. There are life-sized statues of Elvis at some of the
tables, should one care to dine or be photographed with this American
The menu runs to a combination of burgers and fries as well
as more traditional middle eastern fare. The coffee is superb. The
fries are not, but it is the ambience which makes the place memorable,
not the cuisine. Order the special house coffee or a latte in a
souvenir mug. When you return home, it will make you smile for
years to come.
The Elvis Inn, Abu Ghosh.
Click with the right mouse button to see the full size photo.
The Elvis Inn, Abu Ghosh, Israel.
Elvis sharing our table.
The Elvis Inn.
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This page was updated on 18 December 2007.
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