New restaurant replacing Turkish eatery in downtown Bridgeport

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BRIDGEPORT — Ten years is a decent run for a restaurant in this city’s downtown, and that is how long Star Istanbul, which opened in 2012, served Turkish fare at its Markle Court location off of McLevy Green before going dark this past summer.

The new owners of the business are getting ready to open what they hope will similarly become a popular draw, though the name, space and menu are completely different.

Executive Chef Damon Sawyer of Norwalk and his Bridgeport-based partners, Ishalee Green and Wesley Saintil Arbuthnott, this week were putting the final touches on 29 Markle Court, named after their new restaurant’s address. A soft opening is planned for Nov. 3, with the grand opening Nov. 4. 

Sawyer described the menu as “upscale new American” and focused on “local produce and smoke methods of cooking.”

“For instance, one of our menu items is a spiced smoked half chicken,” Sawyer said. “It’s wood and heat. So you’re imparting the essence of the wood flavor with that low temperature and slow cooking. We have a halibut dish and the puree is a corn puree that’s been smoked.”

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