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A tricycle-based Turkish coffee purveyor has set up shop in Ballston

(Updated on 7/25/23) A tricycle serving Turkish coffee has started serving in Ballston.

The three-wheeled coffee contraption is from long-time restaurant veteran and local author Isa Seyran, who told ARLnow late last year he was working on a new concept that would come after leaving his server job at The Salt Line.

This mobile, custom-designed red tricycle offering Turkish coffee and baklava is that new business. It has been parking along the 4000 block of Wilson Blvd after opening earlier this month.

Seyran named the small coffee stand “Ballstonian,” in homage to the neighborhood in which he has lived for over two decades.

The coffee tricycle is currently open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or until supplies last) seven days a week.

“I was a waiter for 23 years and worked with some of the greatest chefs in our region. Some of the food I served, like [at] Rasika and Zaytinya, was simply divine, but it was never my thing,” Seyran told ARLnow about why he decided to open a Turkish coffee spot in Ballston.

“So I decided to sing my own song at my own humble stage and wanted to bring a piece of Anatolia, Medietterrenea and Mesopotamia, a cradle of civilization where I spent the first half of my life, to Ballston, where I spent the second half of my life.”

Besides coffee and baklava, Ballstonian also serves cheese pastries and masala chai from a recipe Seyran learned while working at D.C.’s famed Indian restaurant Rasika.

The Ballston resident worked at some of the region’s most popular and renowned restaurants, including ​​Zaytinya, Bombay Club, and Fiola Mare in D.C., before ending his tenure at The Salt Line in Ballston.

Beyond those jobs, Seyran is also an author, playwright, and filmmaker often producing art based on his experiences as a waiter in the D.C.-area. And, now, he’s added entrepreneur to that list.

He told ARLnow that the first few days have gone well so far and he’s been “humbled by the overwhelming support and love Ballstonian received from my fellow Ballstonians.”

But Seyran is not particularly surprised by the reception, noting that no other Ballston business is selling Turkish coffee.

“At The Salt Line… I got to know my client base, their spending habits, who they are and what they want,” Seyran said. “Having done my market research, I knew people were hungry for something different.”

His ambitions go beyond a coffee stand. The hope is one day to set up an “urban oasis” in Ballston with a tent, cushions, coffee, and books where “members of the community could take a breather from the bustling urban landscape around them.”

He also would love to do coffee ground fortune tellings, like he did while working at Zaytinya, and introduce “Bark-lava,” which would be “a bone-shaped, dog-friendly baklava.”

But, for now, all of that will have to wait, including the coffee ground fortune telling.

“That requires time and space to seat people so that I could serve the coffee in a ceramic cup as opposed to a paper cup,” Seyran said. “[A] food truck parked on the side of the road is not suitable for that ancient tradition but I hope to do that in the near future.”

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