Taverna Oregano Opens Near South Street

May 1, 2014
by Danya Henninger

A new exterior of freshly-painted blue and white now greets guests at 622 South Sixth Street, thanks to new owners who took over the former Divan Mediterranean Grill and turned it into Taverna Oregano.

The Mediterranean BYO serves a menu of mostly-Greek fare with many vegetarian and vegan options, and is currently open for dinner only, Tuesday-Sunday. Monday service and daily lunch will be added soon, with daytime service starting on weekends next week.

Proprietor Hakan Ergun has run several Greek restaurants in Delaware, and when he discovered the space (right next to Beau Monde and across from Bistrot La Minette) was available, he convinced friend Bulent Gul to leave his chef position in South Beach and join him as a partner. A native of Istanbul who has been in the US for 17 years, Gul was happy to leave what he describes as “the crazy, touristy” scene in Miami and move to Philadelphia, which he has always wanted to visit.

Gul’s menu is full of mezedes (small plates) like hummus, grilled vegetables and keftedes (meatballs) and larger dishes like moussaka and grilled lamb and chicken, either in large cubes (shish) or minced (adana). When lunch begins, sandwich offerings will include $10 housemade gyros and falafel filled pitas. Most plates run $6-$15. Check the full menu below.

No major renovations are planned, as the 75-seat space was already operating as a restaurant. In addition to the main dining room on the first floor, there’s a second level room available for private parties.

Side note: what happened to the former restaurant? “Poor management,” is all we could divine as for reasons of its sudden closure. To refresh, Divan Mediterranean Grill had popped up in 2012 right after Graduate Hospital’s much-acclaimed Divan Turkish Kitchen closed, using a nearly identical logo. Turns out it was the chef at the original, Sadi Cetiner, branching out on his own. No word yet on where he has ended up.

622 S. 6th St.; 215-278-2928

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