Beloved Bucharest eatery squeezed out downtown due to parking

- Bucharest gets the boot. The popular restaurant is on its way out of its downtown location.

Bucharest started there in 2006 but for the past four years they've been month to month on their lease. In September the owner finally got word they'd have to go.

Say so long to the sizzling shawarma and mouthwatering Middle Eastern and Romanian fare at 2040 Park Avenue.  Development of the downtown area surrounding it has taken a toll on parking. 

And needless to say, customers are none too pleased.

Jerry Belanger owns Park Bar and the building that houses Bucharest. He says he's not renewing the lease because the restaurant is getting too big for his small piece of Detroit.

"In an ironic way he's a victim of his own success,"  he said of Bucharest. "The place has grown. It's extremely busy down here, there's no parking. The street parking is $45 if you stay after two hours and get a ticket out here. The rest of the parking his closed off unless there's a game, and then it's $20."

And it doesn't help that Bucharest employs 60 people. There are nearly 200 when you count the adjacent businesses.

"There is no place to park for someone who is making $10 or $12 an hour," Belanger said. "You can't afford half your wage to go to a parking spot to go to work."

Add that with the hordes of hungry customers that come here around the clock and parking can be a pain.

"It can be a hassle," said one customer. "You have to go around and round over and over just to find a parking spot."

Belanger said he is not to blame for the position Bucharest is in. He says big-time developers and owners of downtown parking lots, are.

"There's no consideration for the local businesses in the restructuring of Detroit," he said. "How are they going to survive."

FOX 2 spoke with the owner Bogdan Tarasov by phone who says quote "We're not leaving by choice." He said he loves the area and the location.

It is where he met his wife and where Bucharest quickly found its place as popular eatery in the D and expanded to two other locations. The owner says they have until the end of February to move and will relocate to a shopping center at Jefferson and Chene and take up a portion of Lucky's Pub and Grille

Parking will be free at the new location, while the owner expects it to be up and running by February long before the current lease ends at the conclusion of the month.

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