Close this search box.

Log in

Top Stories

A new local restaurant that was forced to close a week after it opened in downtown Naples is back in business after being impacted by Hurricane Ian. Smyrna Cafe initially opened Sept. 20, a week before Ian entered the Gulf.

The Turkish-Mediterranean bakery and eatery weathered the storm well compared to many businesses in the area, but still incurred damage from the storm surge that pushed saltwater from the Gulf down Fifth Avenue South and into other coastal parts of the region. The restaurant is near the corner of Fifth Avenue South and Park Street, which forms the western border of Cambier Park. The city park and the Old Naples neighborhood experienced extensive flooding from Ian.

Salih Acik, the owner and chef of the family operated restaurant, had to replace wood flooring and a couple of refrigeration units but he was able to reopen the revamped cafe four days after the hurricane. Fortunately, Acik also is the manager of Delfin International LLC, an import-export business that specializes in construction and building repairs.  

Acik recently relocated from Turkey, where he previously had seaside cafes in İzmir, which is on the Aegean Sea in the western part of the transcontinental country. His Naples eatery adds more culinary diversity and ethnicity to the downtown area with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as house-made bakery items, served 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The new restaurant and coffee shop takes its name from the ancient Greek city of Smyrna, the historical name for İzmir, one of the largest cities and ports in Turkey. Smyrna Cafe moved into the small space at 520 Park St. that recently was home to Mitch’s Cookies Dessert Bar & Soda Fountain and previously Adelheidi’s Gelato. Mitch’s Cookies is relocating a short distance away to the center of the new Hoffmann Experience store opening on Fifth Avenue.

The Mediterranean Breakfast is Smyrna’s showstopping platter with cheeses, olives, boiled eggs, salami, jams, peanut butter, honey, cucumber, tomatoes and Borek, a Balkan flaky pastry pie made with phyllo dough, seasoned ground beef, spinach and feta cheese. Borek also can be ordered a la carte as well as menu items such as gozleme, a grilled Turkish turnover pastry stuffed with cheese, spinach, or potato mash; and lahmacun, a Middle Eastern flatbread topped with minced meat. 

“It’s kind of like a pizza but the Turkish way,” Acik said. “One of the best things we have is a shredded chicken breast—we call it a Russian salad—which has mayo, beans, potatoes. We are serving this as a sandwich, or we can put it on a salad as well.”

The menu features a variety of sandwiches, salads, and sweet offerings such as walnut or pistachio baklava and waffles topped with fresh fruit such as strawberries, banana or kiwi. Beverages include Turkish and Greek coffees, espresso, frappe and teas as well as house-made organic lemonades, smoothies, milkshakes, beer, and wine.

The restaurant has a small amount of seating inside as well as streetside in front of the business.

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

Don't Miss

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Please note that article corrections should be submitted for grammar or syntax issues.

If you have other concerns about the content of this article, please submit a news tip.