New restaurant brings the flavours of the Med to Swanage

The taste of the Mediterranean is coming to Swanage when a new restaurant opens in Station Road in November 2023.

New owners of The Corner, Mez Kasar and Cuneyt Kilickiran, are aiming to bring a new dimension to dining in Swanage by offering Greek, Turkish, Italian and Spanish flavours in one location, using as much locally sourced and in season produce as possible.

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Chef Cuneyt and restauranteur Mez are nearly ready to welcome customers to The Corner

Welcome to The Corner from chef Cuneyt Kilickiran (left) and restauranteur Mez Kasar (right)

Good food in a relaxed atmosphere

The premises, opposite Swanage Railway Station, was formerly a Wine Yard store and most recently, a mobile phone and tech repair shop.

For the past two months, Mez and Cuneyt have been refitting the restaurant themselves using recycled materials, while at the same time designing the decor and marketing and working on a website.

After turning their hands to every new challenge that has come their way, they are looking forward to showing their real talent – delivering good food in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, and are confident that the restaurant will go down well in laidback Swanage.

Mez has already been responsible for running two highly acclaimed Italian restaurants in Dorset – La Gatto Nero (the Black Cat) in Branksome and the White Fox jazz and blues bar in Bournemouth.

Having moved to Swanage a year ago, he felt he was ready for a new challenge, and when the premises on the corner of Station Road became available he says he knew it would be perfect for the project he had in mind.

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Mez and Cuneyt imagined the perfect place for a laid back restaurant

And plans to realise the dream are almost ready to come true

“No one eats better than the Mediterranean people”

Mez Kasar said:

“People say it’s the wrong time to open a business at the moment, and that might be the case with a huge restaurant, but we are keeping The Corner small and friendly, a personal place where friends can come to eat, drink and relax, where we can keep our customers happy.

“No one eats better than the Mediterranean people, we like our food, we like our mezes, the food lasts longer on the table and there is always good wine to enjoy with it.

“Swanage is a really friendly place, which is ideal as we want happy customers able to chill and relax while they enjoy food. We wanted to create a Mediterranean space in Swanage, as it feels often like a Mediterranean town, in summer anyway!”

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Hearty pasta dishes on the menu will be good winter warmers

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Mediterranean salads, full of colour and flavour, will also be available

“We care about service and the experience”

Mez added:

“We are hoping to open as soon as possible – by the end of October would be ideal, and we are nearly ready to go, but if it doesn’t happen quite that quickly, then by early November.

“The run up to Christmas is going to be busy with people out shopping and there always seems to be a busy day trade in Swanage.

“We care about service and the experience that people have and I hope that our friendliness will encourage people to keep coming back in January and February. I’m sure we will get by and summer comes early to Swanage!”

Away from the restaurant, Mez enjoys long walks through Purbeck with his favourite routes being out to Kingston, Corfe Castle, Worth Matravers and back to town, or along the coastal paths from Durlston Castle to Dancing Ledge.

Chef Cuneyt with the pizza ovens being installed at The Corner

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Stone baked pizzas received a lot of love at the last restaurants which Mez ran

Ideal place to sit and watch steam trains arrive

The hikes have given him plenty of time to mull over ideas for the restaurant, from decor to background music, and Mez is certain that he will be able to offer an eating experience which will enhance Swanage.

By the time the warmer days return, The Corner will be able to boost its customers from the 20 to 24 covers inside to approaching 40 people, as it has licensing for outside space and Mez is keen to bring street dining into the heart of the town.

He thinks it will be an ideal place to sit and watch steam trains arrive in town over a cup of coffee or a glass of Italian wine, while enjoying a relaxed lunch of meze, tapas or stone baked pizza.

Treats such as Spanish chorizo, Italian ham, antipasta and salad dishes will be on the menu, as well as cheeseboards featuring the cheeses of different Mediterranean countries including Turkish feta, Greek halloumi and Italian mozarella alongside fresh, home made bread.

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Garlic bruschetta with sundried tomatoes and pesto is one of a range of home made breads

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Antipasto, meze, tapas, Mediterranean cheeses – all part of a laidback eating experience

“A great wealth of cuisine and flavours”

Mez said:

“There is a great wealth of cuisine and flavours from the Mediterranean, and we will vary the food depending on the season.

“We will source and use local ingredients wherever we can, especially the meat and fish, though there will be some Mediterranean ingredients we can’t find locally.

“We will get a good range of decent Italian wines as well as Turkish beer and will be offering cocktails as well.

“We have been here for a year now and have heard the people say they would like to have something different in town, so we are ready to provide it and hope they like it!”

The Corner Mediterranean restaurant will open at 51 Station Road in early November with a full menu available between midday and 10 pm most days. A website and Instagram page will be online soon.

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