Detroit — The Bucharest Grill is set to open its newest location in Detroit on Thursday.
Staff at the restaurant on Livernois near Pembroke said patrons hungry for its famous shawarma, grape leaves and other menu items should stop by in the early afternoon.
However, some fans of the Detroit eatery couldn’t wait and visited the new restaurant around 11 a.m.
Gloria Bradley, who lives nearby, was among them.
“I’m excited,” she said. “It’s a good day in Detroit.”
The mini-chain has locations on Michigan and East Jefferson avenues and Piquette in Detroit.
Bradley, who is retired, said she first ate at the Bucharest Grill years ago on Park Street in downtown Detroit.
“I’m excited because I love their sandwiches,” she said. “I’m excited about having one in my neighborhood.
Jada Edwards, 17, said she drove from her home in West Bloomfield Township to grab lunch at the local restaurant chain’s newest location.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’ve never eaten at a Bucharest before but all my friends have been telling me how great it is.”
Bucharest came into existence in Detroit in 2006 when an unusual symbiosis it rented the Park Bar’s kitchen for its Middle Eastern take-out business. While the Bucharest has no designated seating of its own, diners willing to order a bar drink could and did, walk into the Park and eat their shawarma and Romanian sausage and other offerings.
But late in 2105 news broke that Bucharest would part from the Park Bar. The move was amicable, Bogdan Tarasov, Bucharest owner and founder said at the time.
“I want people to understand Jerry (Park Bar owner Jerry Belange) isn’t taking my stuff and throwing it out on the street,” Tarasov said in January of last year. “At the time, he added he was told several months before that he wouldn’t be able to renew a lease.”
A Hawaiian-themed bar named Gogo’s replaced Bucharest in the Park Bar site in May 2016 featuring items that include a mushroom tofu coney, pork and shrimp egg rolls with mango-radish slaw and a Spam-and-rice sushi-style dish.