The building that houses Arzu Mediterranean Restaurant on Williamson Road in downtown Roanoke is under contract two years after it originally went up for sale, according to agent Peter Ostaseski with Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group.
Halil Demirci, whose father owns the restaurant and the building, confirmed the sale on Friday and said the restaurant will soon close. Neither he nor Ostaseski disclosed the identity of the purchaser. The sale has not yet closed.
The Demirci family has a long history in the restaurant business in Roanoke. In the late 1980s, Demirci’s father, Ihsan Demirci, opened Mediterranean Continental Cuisine in the space on Campbell Avenue that now houses Alejandro’s Mexican Grill. In 1996, he opened Arzu (named after his daughter) just around the corner, and about a year later he closed the Campbell Avenue restaurant in order to focus on both Turkish and French cuisine at Arzu.
“My parents are getting older, they want to spend more time in Turkey and I felt I didn’t want to do it without them,” said Halil Demirci, who works at the restaurant. He added that newer restaurants in downtown Roanoke have lured customers away and said the past two years have been very slow.
“Being for sale for two years, we have noticed a big drop in our private parties,” he said. “No one is going to call and make a party reservation six months in advance.”
Halil Demirci said he isn’t sure whether the new owner will operate a restaurant in the building, but said the man did tell him he wasn’t in a big rush to take over so Arzu could stay open for another couple of months. Nevertheless, Demirci said, they will probably close as soon as the sale closes.
That means anyone who is a fan of Arzu and wants to dine there one last time had better get over there soon. Otherwise, the chance might be gone.