CASABLANCA THE BAR OPENED IN 1955 as a place to enjoy a drink before or after a movie at Harvard Square's Brattle Theatre. Named for the classic film starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, the bar soon became as legendary as the film, attracting writers, academics, politicians and local eccentrics.

In 1970, the bar expanded to an upper level serving food, but the biggest attraction was the giant wall mural depicting the characters in "Casablanca," painted by David Omar White. In 1972, a young man named Sari Abul-Jubein joined the Casablanca staff as a waiter and bartender. Four years later, he became its owner.

CASABLANCA THE RESTAURANT debuted in 1977. Abul-Jubein cleverly transformed the upper level into a full service dining room, while retaining the "watering hole" atmosphere of the bar downstairs. For more than a decade, both levels enjoyed a cult-like following.

In 1989, the Brattle Theatre building closed its doors for much-needed restoration, and Casablanca shuttered with it. Two years later, Casablanca and the theatre re-opened to the public; all new yet comfortingly familiar. Miraculously, Omar White's painted murals survived the move to the new space. The crowds returned, and today Casablanca celebrates 30 years as a restaurant that has truly reached the status of an institution on Brattle Street.