A new cafe has brought a bit of Turkish flavor to the Treme, and it marks a big change for an address that once filled a much different role in this neighborhood during the pre-Katrina era.
Fatma’s Cozy Corner (1532 Ursulines Ave.) opened last week in the former home of Joe’s Cozy Corner, a small corner barroom that, before its span as Joe’s, had been called Ruth’s Cozy Corner. The building had been used as apartments for the past decade, though stories of its former life still swirl in the neighborhood.
The namesake of its new incarnation is Fatma Aydin, a local restaurateur who has started many well-known eateries across the city through the years.
Aydin is a native of Turkey, and she said she modeled her new project on the cafes and bakeries common to her homeland.
“In every Turkish town, you’ll find a bakery and cafe and in most there are several bakeries,” said Aydin. “It’s part of life there.”
She later owned, co-owned or managed a litany of spots, including the Turkish restaurant Midnight Express (now the African restaurant Bennachin), Café Istanbul on Frenchmen Street (now the Blue Nile music club), Fellini’s on North Carrollton Avenue (now Blue Oak BBQ) and Angeli on Decatur Street.
Aydin’s last restaurant was Fatoush, the Turkish eatery and café she opened in 2011. It was recently redeveloped as Spotted Cat Food & Spirits, a restaurant and music venue related to Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen Street.
“I like to go to areas where new things are happening,” said Aydin. “When I opened on St. Claude (Avenue), all my friends thought I was crazy, but now look at that street. I think it will be good to bring a new business to this neighborhood.”.