Hasan Demir was born in Turkey in 1965 and came to London in 1986. He talks about his restaurant and his regular clientele from the local area.
Listen to Hasan (in Turkish, mp3, 533kb)
Read transcript in Turkish (pdf, 10kb)
'Hampstead is more of a settled area. Maybe it is because I have been here for a long time now. Maybe it is because the same customers are coming all the time. 80 percent of our customers are regulars.
'We have a very good relationship with our customers. Most of them either became friends or we know them really well. We have really regular elderly customers and when they do not come for two days in a row, we are wondering if they are dead.
'Especially one of them - I think he has become part of the family, he is 84 years old - if he does not come for two or three days in a row. He actually tells us if he goes somewhere, for a holiday or somewhere else, he tells us the exact date. Outside of these specific dates, if there are days he does not come for couple of days in a row, we say, "ok, John passed away this time". We are feeling upset as well of course. He became a member of our family. I can laugh at it because he is really like family now…
'All my customers have become like my family members. I spend very good times with them. Sometimes I joke with them, they joke with me. It is like a village restaurant. Because we see each other almost every day, our relationships turned into relative-like relationships.'
Copyright Evelyn Oldfield Unit