Port Richmond residents Mehmet Ergin and Eric Tunc recently opened the doors to their first restaurant, Pera Turkish Cuisine, in the former home of DiMitris, 944 N. 2nd St., in the heart of Northern Liberties Restaurant Row.
Offering a diverse Turkish menu, the location has 1,000 square feet of dining space with a partially open kitchen and a dining room that seats 36 people. It also features authentic Turkish decor and handmade plates from Turkey.
“Northern Liberties Business Improvement District welcomes and congratulates co-owners Chef Mehmet Ergin and Eric Tunc on the opening of Pera,” said NLBID executive director Kris Kennedy in a press release. “We couldn’t be more delighted to add Turkish to the list of cuisines from around the world that you can find here in Northern Liberties.”
Born and raised in Turkey before moving to Philly a decade ago, Tunc and Ergin, who also serves as executive chef, became roommates in Point Breeze while working in hospitality and attending classes in the city. Instantly developing a close bond, they decided to go into business together. Following a pandemic-related delay, they are finally now opening up their restaurant.
The pair said that they thought there was a void in Turkish cuisine on the city’s food scene and want to not only educate people about it, but increase interest in it. They believe that being located in Northern Liberties will go a long way toward achieving those goals.
“We had been looking for a restaurant space for two years and one day we drove by and saw the former DiMitris space,” Tunc said. “We really liked that corner, the corridor and restaurant row, and the space inside. We just knew it was for us and we had to jump on the opportunity to call Northern Liberties home for our new restaurant.”
With both lunch and dinner menus, the restaurant will offer, among other things, a mix of soups, salads, meze, burgers and seafood selections. Highly recommended items include gyro, kebabs, humus and stuffed grape leaves. Although it is BYOB, the restaurant does have non-alcoholic beverages such as Turkish tea.
The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.