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After a tragic loss, Naci's Corner Cafe opens for business in Norfolk

Posted at 1:58 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 16:28:19-04

NORFOLK, Va. - To open up a brand new restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic is quite a feat, but it's not the only hurdle the family behind Naci's Corner Cafe has overcome.

"This has been a lifelong dream of mine and my husband," said Jale Evsen.

Evsen is putting her heart and soul into each Turkish delight she plates.

"It took me a long time to decide what to do because I was so deeply invested," she said.

Naci's Corner Cafe is three long years in the making. Two years ago, Jale's husband, Naci, fell ill and died at the age of 57.

"He was so loved, so charismatic, always smiling," she said.

After months of blood, sweat and tears, Jale is carrying out the recipes Naci brought over from Turkey -- all amid a pandemic. The restaurant just opened on Wednesday.

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"This is food people won't find anywhere," said Evsen.

The phyllo dough for the savory Borek is stretched daily by hand.

"You won't find that anywhere else. My mother in law taught me how to do it," said Evsen.

Baklava, lamb patties, curry chicken kebobs and Turkish coffee and tea are also staples - everything served with Naci in mind.

"I want his legacy to live on. We developed a lot recipes together," said Evsen.

A taste of Turkey, right here in Hampton Roads.

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