Brooklyn's First Turkish Fish Restaurant: Yusuf Başusta's Entrepreneurial Journey

For those longing to enjoy a seafood feast reminiscent of Istanbul's shores, there is a go-to destination in New York that has been satisfying customers for 25 years: Liman Restaurant. When it first opened its doors in March 1999 in Brooklyn, there were only two prominent places to visit in the area: Randazzo's Clam Bar and Roll N Roaster. Even Dunkin' Donuts closed at 11:00 pm due to security concerns. It was a high-crime neighborhood. When word got out that entrepreneur Yusuf Başusta decided to open a seafood restaurant on Emmons Avenue in Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay, some said, "He must be crazy." Initially a small 30-seat venue, Liman Restaurant gradually transformed into a spacious establishment with a seating capacity of 250. Over time, it became a favorite spot for seafood lovers in the area. Not only people from Brooklyn, but also those from distant states and settlements such as Queens, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut started flocking to the restaurant for their seafood cravings.

Molos: Where Food Meets the Breathtaking Beauty of New York"

Immerse yourself in the world of Eliana Stefanitsis, the creative force behind the sensational Molos restaurant. Since its establishment in November 2013, Molos has emerged as a beloved destination, offering an exquisite seafood experience. Eliana, hailing from a family deeply ingrained in the restaurant industry, continues to elevate their culinary heritage with this remarkable endeavor. The roots of Eliana's family in the restaurant realm span generations, transcending time itself. With a warm smile, she shares, "My journey in the world of gastronomy feels like destiny. From our cherished family-owned diner, serving patrons for over 40 years, to various restaurants, the spirit of hospitality courses through our veins. As a proud first-generation Greek-American from New York, I embrace the opportunity to carry forward this treasured legacy." Her first job in the restaurant industry was when she was 16 years old, working in her family's restaurant. She gained experience in various roles, including waitress, bartender and hostess.

30 Years of Culinary Excellence: Turkish Kitchen's Iconic Legacy

Turkish Kitchen, the oldest fine dining Turkish restaurant etched in the memory of New York. After its establishment in 1992 by Chef Orhan Yeğen, it was acquired by businessman Ilgar Peker and his partner in 1993. Celebrating its 30th year this year, Turkish Kitchen is one of the iconic Turkish establishments in New York known by many customers from the east to the west of America.
"When I took over this place, I sat here for the last time comfortably having dinner. From that point on, my real work began," he said. "And just as I said, I never had the thought of sitting here in the evening, away from work, and having a meal."

From TV Waves to Culinary Waves: Georgia Dumas' Lefkes Revolutionizes the Greek Dining Scene

"In the picturesque town of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, lies Lefkes—a culinary haven that has captivated gastronomy enthusiasts since its inception in 2018. The brainchild of Georgia Dumas, a visionary entrepreneur who once brought international television channels to the American audience, Lefkes stands tall as a testament to her passion and ingenuity. Immersed in the captivating narrative of her life, Dumas who ventured into the realm of American broadcasting, set out to create an experience like no other. With a magnetic charm and unwavering determination, she transformed the restaurant which has changed hands numerous times, into a renowned destination where delectable flavors and warm hospitality dance in perfect harmony.

Special Issue on Mediterranean Restaurants in New York & New Jersey

TURKOFAMERICA is now covering stories of Turkish / Mediterranean restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on a special issue. New York City, which has the most restaurants in the world, invents new places every year. There are 24,300 restaurants to meet the needs of people in New York City, which has an area of only 320 square miles. There are over 100 Turkish / Mediterranean restaurants in tri-state area. The history of Turkish restaurants in Manhattan goes back to the years when Turkish immigrants started working at Armenian restaurants. The oldest Turkish restaurant in Manhattan is Topkapı, which was established by Ugur Eğilmez. Bosporus, Butterfly, Genghis Khan’s Bicycle and Deniz Restaurant followed Topkapı. It is possible to make this list longer, but one of the drawbacks of such a list is that these people were not able to continue their business. Disputes between partners or the difficulties of business were the reasons for take-overs or closings.

Turkish-American Women in Arts and Technology: New York Designer / Artist Pinar LaCroix's Journey

Art and Technology has always played a significant role in human life and development throughout history. As art comes in many different forms such as painting, sculpture, photography, and music and touches people's lives in various ways technology moves us forward. Today, we want to share the success story and background of one Turkish-American artist, Pinar LaCroix, from New York City, who has found a way to seamlessly combine art and technology. Pinar LaCroix a graduate from ISTEK high schools from Istanbul, developed a deep appreciation for art history and heritage, due to her family’s passion in arts and collecting. After pursuing her academic education she moved to the United States to broaden her artistic vision globally. Her first recognition in the art world came when her painting was recognized by Arica Hilton gallery in Chicago (2001) and was collected at a mixed exhibition. With the first money she earned from her art, she purchased a computer to dive into the world of technology and to feed her curiosity. 

The Gifted Photographer Joined TURKOFAMERICA Team  

Koray Kasap is potentially one of the most famous and talented Turkish American photographers in 21st century joined to TURKOFAMERICA team as a creative art director and lead photographer. Kasap has worked as both an image maker and a photographer for several well-known Turkish singers, TV stars, model, and artists such Tarkan, Mazhar-Fuat-Özkan, Müslüm Gürses, Ahmet Kaya, Kenan Doğulu, Cem Yılmaz, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Bayezıt Öztürk. After moving to the United States in 2017, Kasap also worked with Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jason Statham. Most recently he shot photos of Netflix movie which was shot in New York, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Beren Saat have leading roles.  

World Percussion Master Who Doesn't Like to Brag, Burhan Öçal

Recognized worldwide as a virtuosic percussionist Burhan Öçal has made the bridging of musical cultures his central mission. A native of Kırklareli in Thrace region, he grew up in a musical family. From his father, he learned a variety of percussion instruments, while his mother introduced him to religious vocal music. After his first contact with Western music, he became interested in combining other genres and cultural traditions, such as jazz and Western classical music, with his own. Burhan Öçal’s instruments are as diverse as his music. He is a highly skilled player on a number of stringed instruments. Once Sting described him as ‘the king of drum.’

Printing from Walls to Vehicles, from MoMa to Mom&Pop


When COVID-19 spread and halted life, employees of Letra Sign Supplies, a sign, banner and printing business in Garfield, New Jersey were concerned. They had moved the company from Clifton, NJ to Garfield that year. The company was on the eve of growth. They were providing logo, banner, sign, and other printing materials services to the retail sector at all scales, from small to large. What they feared did not happen. On the contrary, their business grew. 

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