Turkish bistro in Hawick is taken off the menu as boss thanks townsfolk for their loyalty

A Turkish bistro boss has expressed his delight at serving townsfolk in Hawick – after reluctantly taking his business off the menu.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 4:05 pm
Tekin Esmer.
Tekin Esmer.

Tekin Esmer is calling time on the family-orientated Blackhorse cafe/bistro in Oliver Place after just over a year of a trading period severely restricted by the pandemic.

But his decision to close is not related to Covid-19, rather a rent dispute with his landlord.

And he is closing the venue with a heavy heart as he and his five staff enjoyed a warm reception from and relationship with loyal customers.

Tekin, 45, also revealed he was already seeking out a new venue to open another eatery in the Borders.

He said: “The decision is nothing to do with the pandemic, the government did their best to keep me going. It was a matter of the landlord and myself not being able to come to an agreement over rent and we pulled out. We couldn’t afford to stay.

"We opened in January last year and we worked very hard to get it going and I was happy with the business but we can’t stay because of the rent.

"We are looking for a different venue but I don’t know where in the Borders. We will be coming back.

"We had three full time staff and another three part-time. We were closed most of the time because takeaway didn’t work for us. We tried a couple of weeks takeaway but it didn’t work, it was costing us more just to operate.

"I really enjoyed working at the Blackhorse and the people were awesome. I have another business, a fitness studio in Galashiels, but I have to say it was pleasure to go to Hawick every morning and work. It was so good.”

Tekin, who has lived in the Borders for 20 years, added: “I’ll miss the town and its people.”

Loyal customers have reacted with shock to the closure on the bistro’s Facebook site.

Joanne Mcfarlane posted: So gutted for you all. You certainly turned the place around. Fingers crossed for any future ventures.”

Stephan Wheatley added: “So sad to hear this news. For us you guys were the best place in Hawick.”