Café Zara is a family run café, established in 2011 in Rye. As a family, we regularly visited Rye for day trips and for its wonderful cobbled streets. After each visit, we always felt that we should have some sort of attachment to the town and even said; wouldn’t it be wonderful if we have a small business on the high street where we can have a connection to the town regularly?
Well, you can imagine the rest of the story. A chef friend of mine came to me to say that his friend was looking to sell his café in a seaside town. This was in 2010. When I got the post code and saw that the café was in Rye, you can imagine how I excited I was. We drove to Rye and looked at the café, which was called “SHADES”. It was very much a neglected, tired looking place wonderfully situated on the High Street. We agreed on the purchase of the café and we closed it near 6 months. During this time, we tried to restore the café as much as possible to the original state. We exposed the brickworks in certain areas. We recovered the original fire place and of course, the original wonderful beams.
We named the café after our daughter Zara who had input on many stages of the restoration project. When we were ready for the opening, we invited a few local photographers to give them opportunities to display their artworks free of charge so that they can have a platform to exhibit their works.
Since we established Café Zara, our customers repeatedly requested about Turkish-Anatolian food due to my family background. I am originally from Turkey. We decided that we would provide Turkish- Anatolian food in the evening. We are now serving home cooked dishes and Meze’s as well as Turkish desert specialities such as baklava & Turkish delight
Our aim was that our café would welcome all the visitors, families where they would feel comfortable with nice food, delicious desserts and wonderful coffees. We would like to invite you all to visit Rye and enjoy our café