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New Turkish Restaurant Opens on 43rd Street

Photo: QueensPost

Oct. 30, 2013 By Christian Murray

A Turkish restaurant has taken over the space that was previously occupied by Grill 43 on the corner of 43rd Avenue and 43rd Street.

The new restaurant, called Safra Bistro, has opened and offers standard Turkish dishes such as lamb doner, hummus and kebabs.

While Grill 43 was also a Turkish restaurant, the new owner plans to transform the layout both inside and out– and to create a different vibe.

He said he plans to smash down the exterior walls in coming months and put in glass doors that open up to the street. The goal, he said, is to make the place more inviting and to provide outdoor seating.

The owner has taken over a location that has seen many businesses struggle– such as Habibi and El Shater.

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35 Comments

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Dorothy Morehead

This place is great! I’ve been three times and look forward to going back. Everything is fresh and delicious. They even bake their own bread! The dinner special (appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee or tea) is $13.99. The service is attentive, the atmosphere welcoming. I think this one is going to make it.

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George

The people of sunnyside are broke thats why grill43 sold, i use to eat there when i was headed to the city a few times. There food was good. Some of you people commenting here about how establishments fail in your neighborhood, lets see you drop over 150k and you run the grill43 spot haha. Good luck to the new owners and everyone who has the courage and ambition to pursue business

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7TrainDelays

Bravo Hal, you spotted a spelling error. Hooray for you.

Some people will do anything for an ego boost.

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Dorothy Morehead

Agree, Krissi. If they made it look more welcoming with better signage, the community would probably support it. The Romanian Garden folks brought their clientele with them when they moved from Skillman Avenue so they were not starting from zero. Bar 43 has been successful because the owners have worked tirelessly to build their business, they are very involved in the community, donating generously to the many fundraisers and organizing many themselves. The food is good for a reasonable price and the service is friendly and helpful.

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Krissi

Romanian Garden and Bar 43 do well on that same corner. I think the problem is they really need to “up their ante” in terms of a more modern style and service if they want to be competitive.

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Dorothy Morehead

The population of Sunnyside, both north and south of Queens Boulevard, is extremely varied, especially in terms of income. My neighbors range from Social Security dependent to multi-millionaires. Many have good disposable incomes and sophisticated tastes and will go out of their way to get good food for themselves and their families. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why businesses at that corner location have been unsuccessful. Certainly, the appearance leaves a lot to be desired. As for myself, I used to pick up small items–tea, nuts–on my way home from community board meetings but I always felt unwelcome and was interrupting the men’s interminable conversations. I haven’t been there in ages and would rather pick up baba ghanough and other Arabic specialities from Al Shater and enjoy them at home. I do wish the new owners success. It’s an important corner and a successful restaurant would benefit everyone.

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sunnysideblahhhh

the reason many businesses fail in sunnyside are because most of the people who live here are poor, especially north of queens blvd they do not have money to spend dahhh.. for the record i do not live in sunnyside

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7TrainDelays

PS good point about the ugly, uninviting, black tainted windows. They look like they belong on a drug dealer’s car.

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7TrainDelays

I knew this place would flop as soon as they picked the name which was a rip off of Bar 43 and the Turkish Grill, two superior nearby establishments. No imagination whatsoever.

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South Side Johnny

I like Mangal’s lamb gyro on homemade bread. I never noticed their exterior design or their sign. It’s a dining experience that caters to men and their decor is not important.

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Sunnysideposthatesme14

hey anonymous, it’s called freedom of speech, I’m not saying anything that’s offensive, It’s opinion based on facts.

you just don’t like it because I ruin your little ignorant sunnyside sanctuary of Dog Talk and officials patting themselves on the back for doing nothing.

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Tequilla Mockingbird

Hopefully the new owner will get rid of that faux marble or fake granite on the outside, the tainted black windows and get a sign that belongs in the 21st century.

In general, Sunnyside business owners would benefit from wandering into busy, bustling, prosperous neighborhoods in other boroughs and see how storefronts are designed these days.

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Zaten

It was a sad looking place. Whoever designed the interior should think about a new career. Just like Bar 43 and Dog and Duck-make it an inviting place and people will come. There were a few attempts at each location that failed. Then came someone with a vision! Now Bar 43 and the DnD are doing well. Grill 43 has no charm. I ate there once and felt no desire to go back. Good luck to the new manager.

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Anonymous

Sunnysideposthatesme14 should not be allowed to post his offensive comments on this site. Take your frustration and foul language somewhere else!

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Sunnysideposthatesme14

Wahahhaahha I totally CALLED this, go back and look at the old posts you animals, and you all mocked me.

They are a ratchet racist and sexist bunch that hate to serve women when they show up and you all didn’t believe me.

Well there ya go, this is the result of trying to cater to only your kind. And the result of naming your restaurant so closely to the better bar across the street. That was a bitch move Grill 43. you pack of sexist bitches.

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sunnyside

I agree, Grill 43 was OK but Mangal is clearly better. Was kind of sad seeing no one in there everytime I would stop by, but the owner should have known. Also agree that the sign is abysmally bad. Can you get anymore generic?

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Deniz

Between the fabulous Turkish Grill around the corner on Queens Boulevard and the amazing Mangal a few more blocks up, it’s questionable as to whether the Turkish restaurant market isn’t saturated. We shall see –

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Webley

Local Hamburglar, it was not a Turkish Restaurant before these guys, was it? I think you are confusing it with El Shatter? I believe last owner took it over after they left.

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" Sunnysider"

Unless you put up class and metal on the outside to keep the heat in… no one is going to sit outside in the cold weather… but it would make the place more inviting but opeing up the walls… so you can see inside better.. plus we do not want to see more stores for rent around here… good luck to them….

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Anonymous

Those ideas sound nice. I can see more customers wanting to come when spring/summer come.

P.S.: What we really need are open-air shops on different parts of Sunnyside, Queens suited specifically to the item’s location. Best locations would be under the 7 train line.

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Local Hamburglar

Turkish restaurant — CLOSED

Turkish restaurant — CLOSED

Turkish restaurant — FINGERS CROSSED

No. It’s not going to work this time.

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Hal

But we desperately needed another beauty salon. Particularly an eyebrow treading place, complete with an LED sign and 32″ flat screen TV behind the window! We must retain the seedy status quo of Sunnyside!

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skooh

The new owner must not have seen the birds that use that corner as a toilet. My dry cleaners knows.

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