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First Avenue Restaurant Activity: Efendi and One Twenty-Two

122Daniel MaurerOne Twenty-Two

More changes on the First Avenue restaurant strip. South Brooklyn Pizza, which filed for bankruptcy protection last August, is still slinging pies. It had once planned to expand into the former Rubens Empanada space next door. Instead, we have a new contender, One Twenty-Two First Avenue.

efendiDaniel MaurerEfendi

Meanwhile, the unusual taco-gyro-falafel haven, Mediterranean Grill and Tapas has morphed into Efendi. It looks like a reasonable bet that the space has resolved its identity crisis by plumping conclusively for the Middle East: “efendi,” of course, is Turkish for lord and master, and the eagle-eyed will notice that hookahs have entered the equation.

Mediterranean Tapas Bar Opens Tonight, and Wine’s On the House

photo(198)Daniel Maurer Chef Carlos Chusan in the mirror.

Maybe, just maybe you noticed last night that yet another bonkers illuminated sign has joined the flashy Mediterranean Grill and Tapas signage on First Avenue? If not, do watch the color-changing magic in our video above. It’s enough to give the light show at Smokin’ Tattoos a run for its money.

The Turkish takeout joint opens its next-door tapas lounge at sundown tonight, and your first wine is on the house.

Late last night, while Chinese-Ecuadorian chef Carlos Chusan helped decorate the narrow dining room with Turkish and Moroccan trinkets, he told The Local he planned to serve “a little bit of everything for everybody, because the Lower East Side is American, Chinese, Polish, German – so there’s a little bit of everything.” As you can see below, the pan-Mediterranean menu includes nods to Mexico (quesadillas) and Ecuador (ceviche).

The 40-seat tapas lounge will be open from about 5 p.m. till as late as 2 a.m. on weekends. Care to see the menu?