In his 2002 novel "The Yacoubian Building, Alaa Al Aswany described Egypt's social transformation, and how it affected the Cairo cityscape. Below is a passage from the book:
An inexorable wave of religiosity swept Egyptian society and it became no longer socially acceptable to drink alcohol. Successive Egyptian governments bowed to the religious pressure (and perhaps attempted to outbid politically the opposition Islamist current) by restricting the sale of alcohol to the major hotels and restaurants and stopped issuing licenses for new bars: if the owner of a bar (usually a foreigner) died, the government would cancel the bar's license and require the heirs to change the nature of their business. On top of all this there were constant police raids on bars, during which the officers would frisk the patrons, inspect their identity cards, and sometimes accompany them to the police station for interrogation.
At the same time, it was required of the few remaining bar owners that they pay large regular bribes to the plainclothes police officers to whose districts they belonged and to governorate officials in order for those to allow them to continue. Sometimes the sale of cheap locally produced alcohol would not realize them enough income to pay the fine, so that the bar owners found themselves obliged to find "other ways" of adding to their income. Some of them turned to facilitating prostitution by using fallen women to serve the alcohol, as was the case with the Cairo Bar in El Tawfikiya, and the Mido and the Pussycat on Emad el Din Street. Others turned into manufacturing alcohol in primitive laboratories instead of buying it, so as to increase profits. This happened at the Halegian Bar on Antikkhana Street and the Jamaica on Sherif Street. These disgusting industrially produced drinks led to a number of unfortunate accidents, the most celebrated of which befell a young artist who lost his sight after drinking bad brandy at the Halegian Bar. The public prosecutor's office ordered the bar closed but its owner was able to reopen later, using the usual methods.
Consequently, the small remaining downtown bars were no longer cheap, clean places for recreation as they had been before. Instead, they had turned into badly lit, poorly ventilated dens freqented mostly by hooligans and criminal types . . .