Regent Square’s Istanbul Sofra temporarily closed |

Regent Square’s Istanbul Sofra temporarily closed

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
JoAnne Harrop | Tribune-Review
A ‘closed’ sign sits in the doorway of Instabul Sofra on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. The Regent Square restaurant is temporarily closed as it changes ownership.
JoAnne Harrop | Tribune-Review
Snow covers tables and chairs outside Instabul Sofra on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

Istanbul Sofra has temporarily closed as the restaurant changes ownership, an employee at the Regent Square eatery told the Tribune-Review on Thursday.

The lights are off, and there are no diners.

The tables outside are covered in snow.

The Mediterranean-style restaurant had remained open for about eight months as its previous owner, Adnan Hilton Pehlivan, sat in jail on stalking and rape charges.

Pehlivan, 47, is charged with stalking and sexually assaulting a woman in her South Side home. Prosecutors have presented videos allegedly from Pehlivan’s cellphone that showed a man stalking a woman, breaking into her home and raping her.

On Aug. 1 , a judge denied the third bond request for Pehlivan. He has been jailed since May 23 and was ordered by the court to surrender his passport.

Employees at the restaurant have been reluctant to talk about its future since Pehlivan’s arrest. An employee told the Trib in October that Edip Sensel remains as chef but declined further comment. Others have told the Trib they can’t confirm anything.

An employee Thursday said an announcement about its future would be made within the next few weeks. The name will change but the type and quality of food won’t.

The restaurant’s website remains working but the online ordering says it’s “currently closed” and the Facebook page wasn’t available.

JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.