Nov. 4, 2015 By Michael Florio
An Astoria Middle Eastern restaurant reopened this week after months of renovations.
Duzan, located at 24-11 Steinway St., re-opened its doors on Monday after closing in early July for a revamp.
Owner Hasan Diab said he originally expected the renovation to take two weeks.
“It was in need of a face lift,” he said.
However, the upgrade was delayed after a fire on the restaurant’s roof led to interior damage. The fire occurred toward the end of July, according to Diab.
The renovation was delayed again in August by a second small fire. While the fire didn’t cause any damage, it did result in the FDNY shutting off the gas in the building for a month, Diab said.
The restaurant has now been completely renovated. The floor tiles and ceiling have been redone, as well as the walls, which received a paint job. Diab also put in new booths and tables.
The signage in front of the store is also new, according to Diab.
“Everything in the restaurant is brand new,” he said. “I spent a lot of time getting everything the way I wanted.”
Along with the changes to the restaurant, some items have been added to the menu. New dishes include a “Sometimes I’m Vegetarian” sandwich, which consists of baba ghanoush with fresh cut fries on pita bread, a beef and lamb shawarma and a sabich sandwich, which consists of fried eggplant, humus, green pepper tomato salad and an organic egg.
Diab said he had wanted to renovate Duzan since it opened six years ago, but the restaurant was always busy, which made it difficult to close. However, he decided to do so in July to plan around Ramadan.
“It was a good time to allow everyone some time to relax,” he said.
Diab said that many of the restaurant’s loyal customers were sad to see the shop close its doors in July, and that they wasted no time in returning when it reopened this week.
The restaurant had so many customers on Monday night that Diab had to apologize for the large crowd and the wait time. On Tuesday afternoon customers lined up outside the restaurant before it opened.
“They are so excited, they love the place,” he said. “The renovation was a journey but seeing all the customers made it a blessing.”
The restaurant is open from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., seven days a week. It can seat 40 people.