Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | June 7, 2011

molly’s cafe, new and old

well, here we go!  we moved the cafe on may 30, i unpacked for a few days, and opened on june 2.  sounds easy, eh?  not.  actually, the easiest part was getting all the stuff here.  some friends moved the furniture and boxes and i got a truck to pick up stuff from my rental and my home.  my home is a little emptier now…  for two days i moved furniture around and struggled to consolidate two kitchens into one.  thank god i have a depo now, as i stuff a lot of things into it, had shelves put up, though i need more. the kitchen is still not quite there and i have fantasies of expanding it a bit once i have paid off the carpenter. i moved the coffee machine several times and it is where it is until i get more space.

a lot of people offered their help and i really appreciated it, but especially for unpacking i had to be the one to do it rather than try to direct traffic. a big thank you to charlie, arun, and zulkuf for helping haul everything.

more cats have come to the cafe.  one is a skinny calico who has an annoying meow.  the other cats came along– sita, suzy q, and both mr blacks. suzy is about to have her kittens and i hope she has them here.

a friend came today and told me that neither of my old neighbours seemed to know where i had moved to, which is a lie.  everyone on the street knew where i was moving to and it just shows what kind of people they are.

my neighbours upstairs in this building were a little doubtful about my cafe, but they have come around and will enjoy it.

a lot of regualr customers have come by to see the place and say things like mashalla, bol kazanchlar (good earnings), or gule gule otur (live with a smile).  most say wow at how big it is.

since the place is so big, i am renting out parts of it.  my friend elif has set up a shop selling turkish kitchen textiles, soaps, and various turkish knickknacks.  another friend has set up a stand to sell organic olive oil from his family’s olive grove on the aegean.  one guy was going to set up a shop to sell wine, but he was rather pushy (oh you only stay open until 9 on weekdays?  no, it has to be until 12) and had all sorts of ideas that cost money (polish the floors, put wood decking over the cement in the garden, etc etc) (and this is very typical of turkish men– unsolicited advice).  anyway, i told him to forget it.  now i think a guy will set up space to sell vintage and ethnic clothing.

already business is picking up, though it still needs to be more so i can pay my considerably higher rent.  but it really is a beautiful space.  as i write some customers are playing saz and ney (like a flute) just for fun.

this sat my music evenings start up again with ivir zivir, which means a little bit of everything.  nicholas is one of the musicians and has been playing in my cafe since the first location.  he is canadian and plays violin. jeremy is american and plays accordion and hakan is turkish and plays percussion. i am looking forward to it.


the place was nasty when i took it over.  the sri  lankans had to chip out hundreds of those little plastic things that you put in a wall to hold screws.  then they had to plaster over them before they painted.  the plumber did ok, though he did some things i told him not to.  the electrician, sinan, was a champion, as all the random wiring had been taken down and he had to start from scratch.

here are some before photos of the place:






and here it is now (more or less)















so, come by, relax, and spend lots of money!

see you soon.


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