President and Co-Owner, Dametra Restaurants

Born and raised in Syria, Bashar was left to provide for not only himself, but his younger sister at a young age after losing his parents. In 2004, at 27 years old Bashar came to this country with not much more than the clothes on his back and unable to speak English. Through charisma, determination and an extraordinary intellect, he overcame all odds and became a highly successful restaurateur. Opening Dametra Café in 2008 was the beginning of his restaurant empire which includes a fast growing chain of casual Mediterranean fast food.

He followed the initial runaway success of Dametra Café with a fast-casual expansion in Monterey in 2014 called Dametra Fresh Mediterranean. Mediterranean Restaurant and Portabella opened in Carmel in 2016, the former modeling its menu after the original Dametra (and taking its inevitable overflow), the latter doing a tasty take on French-California fusion.

His latest venture is a restaurant-sports bar combo called Dametra Fresh Mediterranean and the General, in the city of Marina, home to California State University, Monterey Bay. Dametra Café was named Business of the Year by the Carmel Chamber of Commerce in 2010. It is ranked #1 Restaurant in Carmel by TripAdvisor and is on Yelp’s “Most Romantic Restaurants” and “Top 100 Places to Eat in the US” lists.

Bashar often talks to younger generations regarding his passion for spirituality with an emphasis on education, naturally inspiring their young lives. He is involved in launching a free online education university making learning available to all who seek knowledge. He currently sits on the CSUMB Advisory Board for the Sustainable Hospitality Management Program to share his industry expertise.