Garda is a cafe inspired by Haydarpaşa Train Station: 'Garda' is a cafe inspired by Haydarpaşa Train Station. The products sold in the place, where stained glass doors, arched ceilings, wall clocks are reflected exactly, bring together different regions of Anatolia like the station's past.
If you miss the colorful stained glass of Haydarpaşa Train Station, the arched walls known as basket handles, the clocks that decorate almost every column, or even the sign that points to the Eastern Express line, we have news for consolation. Two young entrepreneurs Serdar Özkan and Sahra Daşdemir, Kadıköy He opened a cafe in Yeldeğirmeni, inspired by Haydarpaşa Train Station.
Özkan and Daşdemir's opening of the place they call Garda in Yeldeğirmeni, of course, has something to do with the rapid transformation of the neighborhood in the last few years. Because this place is also the base of concept cafes that open one after another with its shining star. But the real story begins after two friends decide to open a cafe here. After working in the private sector for years, the two partners, who wanted to start their own business, started to think 'what can we do' after they had their eyes on the neighborhood known as Rasimpaşa.
Yeldeğirmeni is a very old settlement. It even has a dense population of German engineers and workers who worked in railway construction in the past. It is a region where railway workers have been living mostly from yesterday to today. Therefore, Haydarpaşa, one of the iconic places of Istanbul, has a great influence on its structure. On the one hand, as Serdar Özkan said, some games and discussions continue about Haydarpaşa Train Station. They also decided to open this place in order to live the miniature of this unknown building.
"Are you trying to keep this place alive while the station itself disappears?" When we asked, "I hope this place lives, but it doesn't disappear." Özkan answers. Although it is not possible to fully reflect the historical station, a nostalgic space has been created by likening very important details. The interior of the cafe was transformed into 'Mini Haydarpaşa' in the hands of an Armenian mechanic, whom Özkan referred to as a 'sarcastic architect'. While the stained glass doors, arched ceilings, wall clocks that make Haydarpaşa to Haydarpaşa are reflected almost exactly, the famous pier, sea and seagull are entrusted to the images depicted on the walls.
Would you like to taste the marşandiz sandwich?
The Haydarpaşa image does not only show itself in the decor. Describing Haydarpaşa as the gateway from Anatolia to Istanbul, the operator tells that they want a sign of this in the food they offer. Before us comes to mind the oriental man standing on the stairs of the station with his wooden suitcase, which we have witnessed many times in movies. Let's listen to Özkan: “He came from different parts of Anatolia with his own personal belongings, cheese, yoghurt, cheese, etc. Think of the people who came to Istanbul from Haydarpaşa. Just like we wanted Haydarpaşa Train Station, the meeting place of people from different parts of Anatolia, to meet the tastes from various parts of Anatolia in 'Garda Cafe'
The cheeses of the cafe, which stands out with its breakfast presentations, come from Diyarbakır, Kars, and Erzincan. Olives come from Edremit and dried fruits from Malatya. Jams are also handmade… Of course, dealing with the supply network, which was a bit difficult at the beginning, their follow-up etc. But they are aware that there is a cost to serve a memorable product to the customer. By the way, the names of the sandwiches are in harmony with the concept. Haydarpaşa, Marşandiz, İskele, Meram Express, Anadolu Ekspres, some of the sandwich names ...
Özkan and Daşdemir, who are schoolmates and have known each other for 16 years, care very much that their customers remember Garda Cafe with a food they tasted here. So their concern is not just offering something decorative. Garda Cafe, Rasimpaşa Mah. Karakolhane Cad. At number 51.
Haydarpaşa, as a gar!
Although Serdar and Sahra are currently interested in the miniature of Haydarpaşa, they are also very sensitive to what is happening in the real Haydarpaşa. It is evident from the fact that Haydarpaşa Solidarity, who has continued to demonstrate at the station every week since the line was closed for transportation, visited them while the cafe was undergoing renovation. While you are sipping your tea at the table, the original sign that suddenly catches your eyes and gives the feeling that you are in the station rather than in the cafe, was a gift from Haydarpaşa Solidarity. Although they do not have any predictions about the fate of Haydarpaşa Train Station, they have hopes: “There should be a door to Istanbul as before. Let the trains come and go, let the line work. In other words, Haydarpaşa should continue to remain as a station. "