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French/Hungarian Cafe Heading for Seventh Ave. Ozzie's Space

It's official: the space that was last occupied by Ozzie's Coffee, on Seventh Avenue and Lincoln Place, will next be home to a French/Hungarian cafe and wine bar, a partnership between Couleur Cafe owner Murat Ozcan and friend Gabor Ferencz.

As the lease was only signed ten days ago, there aren't too many specific details in place, but during a chat with Ozcan this morning, he made it clear that the goal is to become as much of a neighborhood gathering place as Couleur, which is down on the other end of the avenue, near 15th Street.

The menu will emphasize fresh, high-quality ingredients, prepared from scratch to order, like at Couleur, but the similarities will stop there. "This isn't a franchise," emphasized Ozcan. "The philosophy is the same, but it is completely different, a brand new project."

Ozcan has a great eye for design, and I'm happy to report that not only will they be preserving the vintage fixtures from the pharmacy that occupied the space nearly 100 years ago and working them into the design, they'll be restoring details that were covered up during its tenure as Ozzie's.

"We removed some wood paneling, and discovered that there were beautiful mirrors underneath," said Ozcan. "And under the ceiling panels we discovered a beautiful wood ceiling. They had both been damaged somewhat over the years, but we will be restoring them. It's our responsibility. Somebody did something nice here, so why would we destroy that?"

Ozcan met Ferencz (who's Hungarian) when they both worked at Rockefeller Center's Brasserie Ruhlmann (Ozcan managed the restaurant, and Ferencz bartended), and they remained friends over the years and jumped at the opportunity.

"It's a big space, with a big basement and lots of potential," said Ozcan.

As of right now, the plan is to combine the best of both worlds: the cafe/espresso bar will feature French coffee, breads, and pastries, and Hungarian cuisine will be featured in the menu of primarily small plates to go along with a selection of beer and wine (no liquor will be served due to the Berkeley Carroll School's proximity). The menu has yet to come together, but it will be geared toward the lighter side of Hungarian home cooking (even though that might sound like an oxymoron), and Hungarian pastries will most likely be on offer as well.

Regardless of the menu, Ozcan and Ferencz's main goal is to create a relaxed, comfortable space where the neighborhood can gather and enjoy coffee, a glass of wine, and a light meal. 

"If we don't have neighborhood, we don't have life," mused Ozcan, who's originally from Paris. "A life lived alone is against human nature."

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Reader Comments (10)

I really like Couleur Cafe a lot so this is great news in my opinion. Even more impressive is their desire to restore all of the old details and then some! Glad that you can still do wine and beer in that location. I have faith these guys will create a nice place here, and thank goodness the rumor about Starbucks was off, as this is a million times better! Who says mom and pops don't still flourish in these parts?

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergarfieldplace

I also must point out that for all the outrage over that Dunkin Donuts coming much farther down 7th Avenue, this end of the slope is getting Noella Brew Bar, Pottery Making place, this place, that Origami studio opened on 7th and Union, the Bagel Market, Valley Shepherd Creamery and Zito's farther down the avenue.... These are all mom and pop stores opening up on the very high rent 7th Avenue, and outnumber the chains coming in by a landslide. 7th Avenue is making a comeback if you ask me. Nearly every storefront that was vacant 6 months ago is now rented....mostly with new independent businesses.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergarfieldplace

This sounds exciting!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopeperson

Too bad about no liquor though! At least they will have beer and wine, I never understood that nonsense about not granting a liquor license to a place close to a school, doesn't make sense to me. how would that damage children?

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopeperson

Also, FINALLY a great place to grab something on the way to the train in the morning!!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergarfieldplace

@parkslopeperson The law probably relates more to opening up a full-fledged bar next to a school, so day-drinkers aren't stumbling around drunk near kids trying to get home from school. Seems like a situation that wouldn't really happen anyway, especially at a place like this, where being able to have a cocktail would be great.

December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterHere's Park Slope

This is an interesting development. Sounds unique!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

I'm very glad they are preserving the original detailing. Not many people or places do conservation work so that's wonderful. Bravo!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

I friggin LOVE Couleur. My wife and I go almost every morning for coffee and croissants. Murat is the best and his staff is getting well polished.

I hope this doesn't mean he's going to take his eye off our morning coffee space, but I'm glad he has another venture!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Damn, guess we'll have to live with only one SBUX for a little longer.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDAC

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