A couple of readers (and also some coworkers) have noticed that a new business recently opened just above the NW corner of 18th & Washington. This business is in a small shopping center that probably made sense when it was built a few decades ago. Currently, as the western side of Washington Avenue undergoes some changes, the building feels a bit out of place. Those changes are going to continue and even accelerate on the corridor, so we believe the building will stick out like a sore thumb before too long.
But that’s still a few years down the road. And for now, this shopping center is home to a few different businesses, like a small building supply store, a cell phone store, and a laundromat. And of course, the newest addition to the mix is a restaurant called Martabok Ok.
If you’re anything like us, your first response is ‘great, a new restaurant at 18th & Washington!’ and your next thought is ‘what kind of restaurant is this?’ We went into Martabak OK to ask that very question, and learned that martabak is an egg-based stuffed pancake, often found as street food in certain countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Martabak OK opened just a couple of days ago and is only serving a portion of their menu at this point, with a collection of sweet options. Over the coming weeks and months, the restaurant will start serving sweet martabak pizzas and a variety of savory options. As there’s just one table in the little establishment, they will surely rely on takeout business.
It was a little early in the day for a sweet stuffed pancake, but since our office is located just down the street, it’ll only be a matter of time before we get a taste of martabak. This place is going to need a more expansive customer base than the employees of the nearby real estate office, so it will surely look to tap into the residents of the neighborhoods on both sides of Washington Avenue. Also worth noting, the place should benefit greatly from the soon to be completed Lincoln Square at Broad & Washington, which will bring hundreds to new residents to the area. As we mentioned earlier and as we’ve pointed out before, Washington Avenue is changing. And for now at least, those changes should benefit Martabak OK.