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Beanz owner says closing Charlottetown café for winter was 'tough decision'

['New coffee shop owners Kaan and Gursal Ulkan, left, share a cup of coffee with former owners, Lori Kays and Doug Hurry at Beanz Espresso Bar & Café in Charlottetown after the café was sold last week. Trevor Pharoah, right, stays on as the manager as do all staff members.']
New coffee shop owners Kaan and Gursal Ulkan, left, share a cup of coffee with former owners, Lori Kays and Doug Hurry, and manager Trevor Pharoah at Beanz Espresso Bar & Café in Charlottetown. The café is now closed for the winter.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The owners of a popular downtown Charlottetown coffee shop have decided to turn off the taps for the season.

Kaan and Gursal Ulkan closed the doors at Beanz Espresso Bar and Café on Great George Street Sept. 27 with plans to re-open sometime in April or May.

The Ulkans bought the business from Lori Kays and Doug Hurry two years ago. Lori and Doug opened the restaurant in 1995.

Kaan Ulkan said the decision to close was not an easy one.

“It was a tough decision, it was,’’ he said. “It was very tough.’’

Kaan said the reason comes down to two factors — business had been down the previous two winters, and he and his wife simply need a break.

“We are tired, really tired. We discussed it and decided to close and re-open in April or May. We need to recharge our batteries.’’

Kaan and Gursal moved to P.E.I. from Istanbul, Turkey, six years ago, to raise a family.

Beanz is the first and only business they’ve owned since moving here. Kaan said it’s been an eye-opener. The spring and summer months have been extremely busy, but the winters were too slow.

“We looked at the figures and they told us . . . this was the best way.’’

Kaan said he’s been talking to customers the past few weeks about their plans and most of them understood.

Kaan has made some changes to Beanz since he and Gursal took it over.

He got a liquor licence, giving customers the option of sitting and having a beer, glass of wine, cognac or simply a dab of Bailey’s in a cup of coffee. Kaan liked the atmosphere down at Victoria Row and hoped to offer the same at Beanz.

He even started promoting a happy hour on Thursdays every week, offering customers some gourmet complimentary snacks.

And, he’s talked about putting up a retractable roof over the outdoor patio to protect patrons from the elements.

Kaan said he knows very well that Beanz has become a staple in the downtown over the past two-plus decades and hopes that the loyal customer base the café has established understands his family's decision and will return in the spring.

Dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart


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