Home Essex CountyBloomfield A Trip to Bloomfield’s Newest Mediterranean Restaurant

A Trip to Bloomfield’s Newest Mediterranean Restaurant

by Diana Cooper
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Rumi Mediterranean Cafe + Grill has officially opened at 265 Glenwood Avenue in Bloomfield. The restaurant has been in the works since earlier this year, after taking over space of the former Glenwood Diner, and celebrated its grand opening in November. The owners, who hail from Turkey, are bringing authentic cuisine to the cafe, along with a chef who has over 30 years of culinary expertise. Read on for more information about Rumi Mediterranean Cafe + Grill in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

rumi mediterranean cafe grill opens bloomfield

Photo Credit: Rhodope Visual Arts Studio

Opening in Bloomfield

Rumi is named after the 13th-century philosopher from Iran and is owned by Erkan Okyar and Fatih Karaca. The business partners were passing by Bloomfield one day and realized they could “do something in the area” to bring their food industry background and Turkish culture, Erkan told The Montclair Girl. When they noticed The Glenwood Diner was closing, they contacted the owner, who was retiring.

Read More: Zeugma Grill: Delicious Mediterranean Cuisine in Montclair

The owner liked their idea of turning the diner into a Mediterranean restaurant and the new owners got to work as soon as the diner closed in March. Erkan then explained that they worked on getting the renovation permits and everything needed to open the shop. After eight months, Rumi was ready to open on November 10th, 2023.

rumi cafe grill lamb

Photo Credit: Rhodope Visual Arts Studio

Erkan told The Montclair Girl, “We like to serve people. We are community people, so we wanted to get into this neighborhood. It’s a growing neighborhood. There’s a new development coming up and we think it’s going to be nice for the neighbors and it’s going to be good for the business also.”

About The Menu

Rumi’s menu was inspired by the rich culinary traditions of countries like Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon. As described on the restaurant’s Facebook, Rumi “offers a delightful fusion of flavors, aromas, and textures that will transport your taste buds to distant shores.” Included on the menu are cold appetizers, hot appetizers, meat entrees, chicken entrees, seafood dishes, wraps, and desserts.

rumi mediterranean falafel hummus

Photo Credit: Rhodope Visual Arts Studio

The exquisite dishes are prepared by Chef Osman Karali, who has over 30 years of experience in the food industry. Erkan said the chef uses his recipes and that the “very special” Lamb Doner (Gyro) is the restaurant’s specialty dish. It is thinly sliced, marinated lamb layered on warm flatbread and served with rice, house salad, or French fries.

“Right now, the neighbors are trying to discover us. Actually, I don’t want to say something [specific], but they like everything so far,” Erkan said when asked about the popular menu items.



rumi turkish dessert

Photo Credit: Rhodope Visual Arts Studio

Some items include Babaganoush (smoked eggplant appetizer), a five-piece falafel plate, Shepherd’s Salad, Kofte Kebab (grilled seasoned beef patties), lamb chops, Manti (Turkish ravioli), grilled Branzino filet, crispy chicken schnitzel, chicken shish wrap, Tres leches and baklava. Separately, there is a kid’s menu and a drink menu featuring smoothies, Turkish coffee, Turkish tea, and other cold drinks.

Check It Out

In the New Year, Erkan and his business partner are focused on making sure Rumi Mediterranean Cafe + Grill meets “all the expectations for our guests.”

“My goal is to keep the same food quality and same service quality and try to bring something good to the neighbors so they can comfortably go out, sit down and eat as a family,” he added.

The owners want to make sure it’s a welcoming environment for everyone, which is why they added posters around the cafe with quotes from the philosopher Rumi. Some of these include: “The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you,” and “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

inside rumi cafe grill bloomfield

Photo Credit: Rhodope Visual Arts Studio

In addition, customers can escape to the Mediterranean inside Rumi with colorful artwork from abroad hung on the walls, handmade glass lamps, and elegant red and blue table settings.

See More: 7 Delicious Spots for Hummus in Hoboken + Jersey City

Erkan remarked, “He’s the person who is welcoming everyone. Our goal is for everybody to get treated the same way. Everybody’s important and everybody should feel like they’re important.”

Rumi is open every day from 11AM to 10PM. For more information, visit the website.

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