Two fans of the legendary, shuttered Wisconsin supper club the Turk’s Inn are opening what they’re calling a replica of the original here in New York City — in a big bi-level space including a rooftop patio, a doner kebab takeout counter, and an adjacent music venue.
Varun Kataria and Tyler Erickson are jumping into the restaurant game for the first time to reinvent the 1934-founded chophouse in Bushwick, five years after its original Midwest location closed. The two friends visited it when they were kids, and on June 27, they’re opening their own version at 234 Starr St., near Wyckoff Avenue.
The 5,000-square-foot, 60-seat restaurant will have the same kitschy aesthetic as the Wisconsin outpost, sporting much of its actual decor. Kataria and Erickson snagged items such as antique artwork, ceramic figurines, and photographs at the auction for the original location. The interior features a 1940s bar, “moody” red walls with psychedelic geometric designs, and a dining room with an alcove and skylight, according to a news release.
The duo brought on executive chef Alberto Carballo (Claudette, Boqueria) for a “contemporary take” on the original’s Turkish-inspired chophouse menu. Dishes like monkfish with paprika and lemon aioli, lamb ribs with green tomato chutney and Georgian spicy dip adjika, and moussaka are planned.
The new Bushwick location will encompass a bunch of aspects: A rooftop patio will offer drinks and food, while a takeaway counter will be just for doner kebabs, including chicken, lamb, and haloumi shawarmas and fries. Diners can expect martinis and other classics on the drink menu, plus wines, beers, and ciders. Later this summer, the restaurant will also open a music venue next door.
The original opened in Hayward, Wisconsin in the early 1930s, a project of George “The Turk” Gogian, an Armenian immigrant by way of Istanbul. Locals and visitors alike were drawn to the restaurant for its lively and welcoming staff, belly dancers, and that over-the-top decor. But it closed in 2014, following the death of the last Gogian family member.
The Turk’s Inn opens in Bushwick on June 27, and will be open daily from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.