Deserted: Iconic Sheepshead Bay restaurant Sahara shutters

Closed: Sahara, the popular Turkish restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, has shuttered.
Brooklyn Paper
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The kitchen’s closed.

Loyal patrons of a Sheepshead Bay Turkish restaurant took to social media this week to mourn the loss of the community staple as it shut its doors for good earlier this month.

“I know Sahara Restaurant Brooklyn wasn’t doing well in recent years, but to see it permanently closed feels like a death,” wrote Sahana Hanif on Facebook.

Located at 2337 Coney Island Ave., the family-owned Mediterranean eatery first opened in 1986 and featured a dining area, dance club, and private event space.

“Our establishment can accommodate any occasion with our outside seating in the oasis garden, private party room with a capacity of 40, and our second-floor dance hall for special occasions with a capacity of 110. No party is too big or too small,” reads the now-defunct restaurant’s promotional materials.

Over the years, Sahara developed a devout following in the neighborhood, becoming a go-to spot for holidays and special occasions, patrons said.

“We spent every Christmas and Easter here and we’d always come in the summer,” said Facebook user Mariam Atia. “So sad.”

The closing gives the community one less place to grub, but for some, it represents a more sentimental loss.

“This restaurant was a Brooklyn icon for my family and so many people I know. It’s where we went for birthdays, anniversaries, and family get togethers,” Hanif said. “Feels odd to lose a dining place where so many late nights with my parents and sisters were spent.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577.
Updated 1:58 pm, April 1, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

John says:
Another small businesd gone. What will replace it another bank or pharmacy ?
March 29, 2019, 10:45 pm
Joey from Sheepshead Bay says:
The restaurant owner was a deadbeat who borrowed from anyone and everyone and couldn’t pay anyone back and ruined the business his father built over 20 years. He stiffed employees, vendors and obviously his Landlord because the Brooklyn Marshall had him evicty.
March 30, 2019, 1:15 pm
Flaco from Rkwy says:
Maybe a dollar store & a nail salon?
April 1, 2019, 9:07 am
Mai Dai from Graves End says:
Shutter is not a verb. New York Time$ vocabulary does not belong here. Use closes ,closes down ,or shuts down instead.
April 1, 2019, 2:02 pm
Jeanette Grayeb-Mihal from Bay Ridge says:
We spent many years going to Sahara, and loved it. I am sad to see it go. I hope another Turkish restaurant opens in its place. Love the food, the garden and the atmosphere. I can't believe someone isn't looking at this property. If you will be as good as Sahara, you will have our business.
April 1, 2019, 2:08 pm
Mai Dai from Gravesend says:
According to 3 dictionaries in my home, the word shutter has 4 or five uses and all of them are nouns. The NYT$ and related media invented its use as a verb. Fake news as well as fake definitions and word use.
April 1, 2019, 2:42 pm
Ron from Sheepshead Bay says: defines shutter as: noun a solid or louvered movable cover for a window. a movable cover, slide, etc., for an opening. a person or thing that shuts. verb (used with object) to close or provide with shutters: She shuttered the windows. to close (a store or business operations) for the day or permanently. verb (used without object) to close or close down: The factory has shuttered temporarily.
April 2, 2019, 8:14 pm
Brian from Brighton Beach says:
I never ate at Sahara, so I couldn’t tell you if the food was good or not. The fact that it was there for over 30 years tells me it had a great run. My feeling is that a bank, drug store, or a new condo will go up in its place. Just what the neighborhood needs.
April 7, 2019, 6:42 am
Mai Dai from Gravesend says:
Real, actual dictionaries do not accept shutter as a verb. I have four separate dictionaries at home. Shutter as a verb was invented by the media which Dictionary. com is part of. The NYT$ likes to invent new words to cover up for the fact that they deal in phony news. Correction The factory was closed down or the factory was shut down.
April 7, 2019, 3:18 pm
Peter Pyle from Prospect Park says:
I have frequently noticed that the New York Times uses strange words in odd contexts ( especially in the headlines) that often baffle me and have me running to the dictionary where such words and phrases are totally unfound. True that I am over 3 score and 10 years old, but common everyday language should be the bedrock of any self respecting newspaper. I also looked up shutter in my Webster's dictionary. 4 definitions of shutter existed and all of them are nouns. I too prefer shut and closed to shuttered. Let's just stick to the basis and stop looking for new words when a need does not really exist.
April 7, 2019, 3:52 pm
Sal from Ave U says:
Hopefully a pharmacy, a big plus is finally having a store that sells on beer on ave U. Seriously, almost all deli's here are halal...
April 7, 2019, 10:25 pm

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