Bereket is Gone; Our Final Midnight Meal Before Closure

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 at 6:00 am by

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The final night at Bereket, 12:30am

Bereket is dead. Long live Bereket. Its glass doors are now closed for good; chained shut for good measure.

When news broke Saturday evening that the nineteen-year-old Turkish joint would close later that night, after depleting its stock, we were gutted. Yet again. Another longtime favorite to shutter in favor of greed. In this case, a new development that will eventually encompass the entire low-rise strip of East Houston between Ludlow and Orchard (Katz’s Deli is safe).

So. We found ourselves saying goodbye to an old friend for the second time in a week.

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The lentil soup

While grabbing the door handle to enter, a bro taps us on the back. He’s desperate for the shoes on our feet since the bar of choice doesn’t permit flip flops. Our refusal to his trade deal, plus $15, sends him back six blocks to his apartment.

It’s just after midnight when we finally get inside. Baklava is what we want, but like much of the menu, it’s no longer available. We settle on the delicious lentil soup. With each slurp we savor the simplicity of the joint: the faded photography, Marco artwork (e.g. Berecat), the collection of PBA cards at the cash register, etc. Then it’s back into the night…


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Several readers were quick to mention, though, that Bereket is in fact moving to an unspecified location, possibly to a space over on Allen Street. But, to be honest, this seems unlikely. Even the employees serving us were skeptical it would happen. We nevertheless remain hopeful that a relocation does come to pass, and that the customers follow its journey.

As for the cornerspot at Orchard and East Houston, sources informed us back in March that Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul was in contract to purchase this enormous Lower East Side footprint. Included in the deal is a host of other restaurants – Lobster Joint, Ray’s Pizza, Empanada Mama, the bodega, 200 Orchard, Taqueria, Karaoke Boho.

What’s worrisome about this purported deal, other than the displacement of these neighborhood businesses, is the valuable air rights. The 2008 rezoning is now C6-2A district (Houston, west of Essex), which allows for up to twelve stories (or 120 feet). That’s with inclusionary housing [PDF].

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