Saturday, September 5, 2015

Divining Divan

Two restaurants, similar names. What gives?

Divining Divan

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Pixels have been expended lately about Divan Mediterranean Grill at 622 S. Sixth St. (opening tonight), coming as it has just after the closing of Divan Turkish Kitchen & Bar across town in the Graduate Hospital/Southwest Center City area.

The logos look identical, so are they related? Yes and no.

Not by ownership. Ilker Ugur, who owned the now-closed Divan, told me he has nothing to do with the new one.

The common link - I can tell you - is Sadi Cetiner, who was chef at 22d and Carpenter and is a co-owner at Sixth and Bainbridge.

Citiner - whose shish kebab and acili ezmi (spicy minced pepper) are first-rate - is partners in this venture with Kenny Dongel and Kenny's daughter, Seval Washington.

Dongel owns K&D Tile and Marble at 16th Street and Washington Avenue, and he's poured a lot of his produict into the finishings of this attractive BYOB, which previously was Shouk. It's across from Bistrot La Minette and next door to Beau Monde. Washington - she's Turkish-born and married to an American soldier- has waitressed at Turkish restaurants all over.

Divan Mediterranean Grill is open for lunch and dinner daily. The weekday lunch menu is $9.95, and the dinner menu is fairly priced with most entrees in the teens.

As for the Divan formerly at 22d and Carpenter, it's being converted into SoWe, a neighborhood bar/restaurant. Its opening is penciled in for April 23.

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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