A restaurant in Palo Alto that closed during the pandemic reopens in a new space in December | Peninsula Foodist | The peninsula foodist

By Kate Bradshaw

Anatolian Kitchen, a Kurdish-Turkish restaurant that operated for about a decade on Birch Street in Palo Alto before closing in 2021, is set to reopen in December, owner Dino Tekdemir said.

During the pandemic, Tekdemir decided to transform the former location of Anatolian cuisine at 2323 Birch St. in its second Naschmarkt location, an Austrian restaurant. Naschmarkt’s first location is in Campbell, and there were a number of economic advantages to offering a single type of cuisine across two locations, he said in an Oct. 25 interview.

With one type of kitchen, it was easier to transfer employees between sites and manage equipment and inventory.

But the closure of Anatolian Kitchen had saddened him, his family and his customers, he says.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Tekdemir and his team donated meals to the community through Anatolian Kitchen, and since its closure they’ve heard from many customers how much they miss it.

So when he heard a space was opening up on California Avenue — the site of the Port of Peri Peri restaurant — he decided to take it.

The port of Peri Peri opened in June 2020, offering Portuguese grilled chicken among other things in a fast casual space, itself taking over the former location of the Spice Kit restaurant.

The new Anatolian Kitchen menu may have some changes from the previous one, but it will highlight meats, kebabs, lamb, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes.

Meanwhile, the interior will have undergone a “cosmetic touch-up” from its current layout, with a new chandelier, tiled bathrooms and marble tables, says Tekdemir.

He is also the owner behind Nemea Greek Tavernan upscale Greek restaurant in San Jose that was affected by a fire on Mother’s Day in 2021. Reconstruction at the site is still ongoing and Tekdemir has decided to transfer Nemea Greek Taverna’s liquor license at Anatolian Kitchen — a move that may have sparked the false report that he was opening a Greek restaurant location in Palo Alto.

Much of the catering demand in San Jose came from office workers, conference attendees and hotel guests, who did not return as he had hoped. For now, he says they don’t plan to renew the lease there. “It’s really sad to let this kind of restaurant go.”

Another benefit of Anatolian Kitchen’s reopening is that the fare is easier to prepare and share than the Austrian fare offered at the Naschmarkt, which means it will be easier for them to donate meals in the community, says -he. Her daughters go to school in Palo Alto and they are already planning to bring a lunch of Anatolian cuisine to the teachers when the restaurant reopens the first or second week of December.

“It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait,” says Tekdemir.

Anatolian cuisine340 California Avenue, Palo Alto, Instagram: @anatolian_kitchen.

To encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, story comments are available to registered users. If you are already a registered user and the comment form is not below, you must login. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please ensure that your comments are truthful, on topic and not disrespectful to another poster. Don’t be sarcastic or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our registration requirement announcement for comment.

Freeda S. Scott