Couple open second Mediterranean restaurant in town offering al fresco dining in ‘relaxed’ setting

A popular Lynn Mediterranean restaurant has opened a second premises in town offering a “more relaxed” setting for special occasions.

Husband and wife team Mehmet Kumcu and Tsetsi Sarpanova welcomed customers to the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant, at 11 Saturday Market Place, for the first time yesterday afternoon.

The new premises, which is opposite Lynn Minster and next to Stories of Lynn, will offer the same menu as the original Mem’s Kitchen, at 69 High Street, but will be able to offer al fresco dining as well as catering for more customers indoors.

For Mehmet and Tsetsi, the idea for a second restaurant came about as a result of the popularity of takeaway orders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They said: “In the original restaurant, we were just downstairs and expanded to the top floor, and when we had the upstairs as well, we were still busy all the time.

“During the pandemic we did takeaways, and when the pandemic was over, the takeaway customers wanted to come and visit us.

The new Mem's Kitchen restaurant on King's Lynn's Saturday Market Place
The new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant on King’s Lynn’s Saturday Market Place
Tsetsi Sarpanova and Mehmet Kumcu inside the new restaurant
Tsetsi Sarpanova and Mehmet Kumcu inside the new restaurant

“So when this became available, obviously we thought the location was really good and the building is lovely, so we said ‘let’s go for it’.”

They said they had originally planned to open the new restaurant last year, but it was put on hold by the arrival of their son Deniz, now 14 months.

When they were ready to create their new premises, it took a “lot of work” to create the space they had envisaged, with a complete redecoration of the building, where they are now able to cater for 40 covers indoors, in addition to the outdoor seating.

The couple said: “What we want to do here is more relaxed, we want it to be a nice dining experience.

Take a look inside the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant in Lynn
Take a look inside the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant in Lynn
Inside the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant
Inside the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant

“The other place is cosy, and here we can do al fresco when the weather is nice.

“It’s exactly the same menu but we’ll be able to offer cocktails here in a few weeks’ time.

“It’s more for people who want to come for a special occasion here, romantic dinners, that sort of thing.

The new restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining
The new restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining
Inside the new Mem's Kitchen restaurant
Inside the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant

“It’s a nice place I think to come and have a nice meal.”

Customers have welcomed the news of a second branch, with hundreds sharing their excitement on Facebook.

“Obviously people like our food and they’re saying ‘we can’t wait to come and visit you;, which is so nice to hear,” Tsetsi said.

Inside the new Mem's Kitchen restaurant
Inside the new Mem’s Kitchen restaurant

And Kieren Shipp, who is the general manager of the new Saturday Market Place restaurant, said: “After the post on Facebook, the phone lines went crazy.”

Kieren, who is one of the team of 26 across the two restaurants, said: “I joined about a month ago. Mem and Tsetsi were nice enough to welcome me into the family.

General manager Kieren Shipp
General manager Kieren Shipp

“It’s a new venture for myself as well. I can’t wait.”

Mehmet and Tsetsi, who formerly ran Lynn Restaurant – now The Street – opposite Debenhams, will celebrate having lived and worked in Lynn for 10 years next year, after “taking a risk” and moving to the town from London to start up their own business.

“It shows that hard work pays off,” they said.

Mem’s Kitchen on High Street is open Monday to Saturday, with the new restaurant on Saturday Market Place open Wednesday to Sunday.

“People now have the choice of seven days of the week to visit us now,” the pair added.

For more information, visit Mem’s Kitchen 69 on Facebook.