Tuesday, March 28, 2023

More about the return of Bereket to the Lower East Side

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Yesterday we had the scoop about the opening of Ankara Turkish Restaurant on Houston and Orchard ... from the owner of longtime LES favorite Bereket Turkish Kebab House.

After 19 years in service, Bereket was forced to close in June 2014 to make way for the new luxury condo via Ben Shaoul on the block. The property housed a single row of storefronts, including Bereket, Ray's Pizza and Lobster Joint — all demolished. (As Shaoul told the Times back in 2017, the small businesses that closed were "part of evolution ... You call it gentrification, I call it 'cleaning it up.'") 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy returned to the quick-serve restaurant, which debuted last week...
... and met with Ramazan Turgut, who owned Bereket and now Ankara Turkish Restaurant, which has two outposts in Brooklyn...
... and manager Aydın Günaydın...
Ramazan said that he always wanted to return to this neighborhood and that it wasn't his choice to leave. In the interim, he opened the two restaurants in Brooklyn under the Ankara name. When Bereket closed, he said he didn’t want to open a Brooklyn restaurant with the same name because it was special, and the name belonged to this area. 

He signed a lease when this space at 183 Houston St. (the former Dr Smood) became available directly across the street from the previous outpost. 

Since there are two other Ankara Turkish Restaurants, he decided to keep the name for continuity. Still, he wants people to know it's still Bereket (hence the "Bereket is Back" banners on the storefront). 

The menu items remain unchanged — including the famed vegetarian red lentil soup...
... and the variety of gyros (the chicken gyro option is new)...
There are also a variety of Turkish beverages (no alcohol!) ...
Ramazan said several former customers have come in and confessed how much they missed Bereket. One customer even started crying, which prompted tears from the staff too. 

During this soft-opening mode, the hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with plans to expand to 4 a.m. soon.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This makes me really happy. It's great to hear a success story - victory for the neighborhood!

What ever happened to ol' Ben? He was such an awful presence in our lives for a time, and now seems to have disappeared.

Dan said...

so excited for this welcome return!

Anonymous said...

Highly recommended!!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh! Finallyyyy🤩🤩 ım soo happy and excited! Welcome Ankara 3!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back

Anonymous said...

lahmajoun,lahmajoun!! words fail to describe the joy of Bereket's return so many great memories in the old spot cant wait to make some new one's at Ankara! who's cutting onions in here ...much success to them never close again ..Please

Glamma said...

awesome!

Anonymous said...

"As [Ben] Shaoul [said] back in 2017, the small businesses that closed were "part of evolution ... You call it gentrification, I call it 'cleaning it up.'"

God, what a greedy scumbag. And RE developers get upset that people hate them. And the "luxury" condo there is pretty dumpy.

Anyway, hooray, it's good to have Bereket back. After losing Habib's Place and then Bereket, I just gave up on this type of food in the EV or LES.

Anonymous said...

No lahmajoun! :^[

Scuba Diva said...

Now if they can just bring back Habib's Place.

Anonymous said...

Love
Especially missed talking with him about Morocco and there outstanding World Cup performances. Great man.

Anonymous said...

soup!!!!