Moab Happenings Archive
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Perfected Arts: Italian Coffee and Turkish Hospitality at Café Italiano
By Linda Schmidt

Café is “coffee” in many languages. It signifies the beverage, and also the setting in which it is served, often a small, unpretentious restaurant that includes exterior seating on a patio. Italian cafè espresso is world-famous; making it correctly is an art. Designing the right setting in which to serve it is another art. Add sincere Turkish hospitality to these combined arts, and the result is Café Italiano!

Created by Deniz Huseyin and his wife Muserref, this is the perfect expression of a café. Occupying a portion of the ground floor of the Gonzo Inn, Café Italiano is off Main Street. Here you can begin your adventurous day in quiet, inspired by the red rock cliffs beyond the windows. And at adventure’s end, spacious seating outside on the patio sheltered by trees, and a very appealing arrangement of couches around a fire pit, offer peaceful relaxation with food and drink.

The café offers breakfast and lunch items with Deniz’ speciality, caffè espresso, in its many expressions. Their panini are highly recommended. In the evening, the café becomes the Lounge, serving sliders, flat bread pizza, and salads, with beer and wine. Each of their items is made to order. Nothing is mass produced; when eggs are ordered, the eggs are cracked. Of course certain items are baked in advance, such as their incredibly delicious tiramisu. Enjoy it with an expertly brewed espresso!

The design and operation of Café Italiano and its two small sisters (mentioned below) requires business skills which Deniz has mastered. His entire life from the age of seven has been spent in the acquisition of knowledge in the food, restaurant, and hotel industries. At the age of seven, he took to the streets of Antalya, Turkey, with a huge tray of bagels on his head, selling enough on a daily basis to rival the income of some adult office workers! On the Mediterranean Sea, Antalya is a tourist destination; Deniz never lacked employment. He worked his way through college, gaining a degree in hotel management, specializing in both hospitality and finance.

The gift of linguistic skill has greatly served Deniz in the hospitality business. His English is excellent, and after years of serving in hospitality and guest services, he was employed in sales by in Antalya. His abilities so impressed his superiors that he was transferred to Istanbul, where he gave international zoom seminars on sales and marketing, working seven days a week.

Five years ago, Deniz began to question this lifestyle. He had little time for his family. His son was almost school age, and Deniz and his wife were concerned about his education. While considering relocation, they accepted an invitation from Deniz’ best friend to visit Moab. Three years later, liquidating all that they had in Turkey, they moved here.

In their first year in Moab, they operated Café Italiano at 83 S. Main Street, and received the Small Business Administration’s Client of the Year Award. It has rave reviews on Tripadvisor for its coffee, food, and superior hospitality. The second year saw the addition of the food truck Tropical Sno next to Café Italiano. Now they have opened their Café/Lounge, a lifetime dream come true, and a very special addition to Moab’s hospitality scene!

You are invited to Café Italiano. Enjoy the finest of Italian coffees and excellent food in a most comfortable setting, with the warm and charming hospitality of Deniz and Muserref. (Tiramisu and espresso are a MUST!) Located at 100 West 200 South Street. Hours are 7:00am to 1:00pm. Phone 435-259-3630.
And be sure to mention you read about Café Italiano in Moab Happenings.

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