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Jan 12, 2002 01:01 AM

LI: Ayhan's Shish-Kebab Name Change?

  • b

Noticed a week or so ago that the Ayhan's Shish-Kebab in Rockville Centre repainted the outside and put up new neon signs with a new name for the place. It's now called Blue Grill, but is apparently the same place. It certainly doesn't seem any different inside, and when I stopped in to pick up a menu the hostess answered that it is indeed the same as Ayhan's.

I was never a big fan of the place, but I was wondering if all of the Ayhan's have changed their name, including the originals in Port Washington.

I guess they're hoping people will forget the big 'worker-doesn't-wash-hands, people-get-sick' food poisining story this past June...or maybe they were just getting tired of hearing wiseasses like myself refer to them as Ayhan's Sh*t-Kebab.

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    Wendy Leonard

    Wasn't it Ayhan's Shish-Kebab Afghan Restaurant? I know there used to be a Afghan sign; I assumed that was the reason for the name change.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Wendy Leonard

      I don't recall the Afghan part, and I doubt that would be reason enough to change the entire name.

      If I recall correctly, the owner is from either Turkey or the Turkish part of Cyprus. The restaurant (under either name) has always served Mediterranean food, with a mostly Turkish and Greek influence.

      I must add that while others spoke highly of the Port Washington locations in the past, I wasn't very impressed on my one visit last year to the one in RVC.

      1. re: Brian Q

        I don't believe it was ever labelled Afghan, either, but...there's a really likely reason for a name change: a huge food poisoning incident several months ago. Either business is wiped because of that, or Ayhan finally got so depressed (he was said to be despondent after the incident) that he sold.

        1. re: Billk

          It's funny this should come up the first time I visit this board, as I live near RVC. That particular corner location has been home to *many different eateries over the past few years, and my kids were particularly fond of the American Grill incarnation (at the time they were pretty little, and burgers as a theme was of great appeal). It was subsequently something that too closely resembled a plasticy low end motel coffee shop, and I have to admit we never ventured into Ayhan's, perhaps due to previous disappointment. We just noticed the name change the other day when driving past, and I never thought it would still be serving the same middle eastern cuisine with that name ~ sounded more like the kind of burger place the kids remembered fondly, and they asked to go there soon. I did assume, and mentioned to them, that they probably succumbed to the food poisoning reputation from last spring, and had to close. So you've been there and it's still the same cuisine with a different name?

          1. re: Carey56

            Yes, this is definitely still Ayhan's Shish Kebob, just under a boring, generic name. The menu looks the same (other than the name change), the hostess answered 'yes' when I asked if it was the same place as Ayhan's, and the phone number and fax number have remained the same.

            In addition, the restaurant remained open during the painting of the exterior and placement of the new signs, and I've seen an Ayhan's van parked outside on a couple of occasions after the name change.

            My guess is that they're hoping to get away from all the bad publicity after last summer's major shigellosis outbreak at the restaurants, but there may be another reason.