Business Profile – Café Corner
By Mary Martineau
Café Corner owners Nail “Chet” Çetin and Kathleen Day are among the newest merchants in Harrison West having purchased the popular neighborhood eatery in December 2009. The duo divides duties with Chet focusing on keeping back-of-the-house operations running smoothly and Kathleen managing the front-of-the-house activity. Leaving most of the day-to-day activities to dedicated Manager Elizabeth Metz, Kathleen focuses on décor, food, branding and marketing for the café.
Kathleen’s job with Victoria’s Secret originally brought her to Columbus. She had been searching for a restaurant for about a year when she walked into Café Corner. As soon as she saw the menu and met a few of the customers, she knew it was the place for her. She’s one busy woman; she is works as an advertising consultant in addition to her and Chet’s restaurant-ownership adventure. Kathleen learned to cook from a trained countess’ chef in Paris and then worked in catering for years, so she’s no stranger to the kitchen. Add to her history Chet’s own years of waiting tables, and they have a worthy pedigree for diving into the restaurant business.
When ownership changes in any business, the first question customers ask is, “How will this affect me?” Kathleen is quick to offer assurances that the core menu will remain the same. Although soon there will be an outward change when their new sign designates the space as “Katalina’s Café Corner.” The “Katalina’s” branding is a nod to Kathleen’s name and also to the influence of her dear grandmother. (Look for a painting of Nana gracing the wall soon.) But Kathleen promises,
“We will not deviate from the core concept of Café Corner as our loyal customers make the place what it is.”
Specifically, the specialty gourmet breakfast, lunch and casual dinner options will remain as she and Chet put a greater emphasis on utilizing local, ethically-raised, sustainable and seasonal ingredients. Grander plans for the future include converting the patio to a three-season porch in order to expand Café Corner’s usable space.
Kathleen and Chet love the community-oriented vibe of Harrison West and the potential they see in the neighborhood. As current residents of German Village, they appreciate the history, architecture and housing stock of Harrison West and see it retaining some of its “diamond in the rough” qualities, especially when compared to some of Columbus’ better-known residential areas. The couple is so enamored of the neighborhood and so happy to be part of the community that they anticipate moving to Harrison West once they settle into a regular routine at Café Corner. The neighborhood would welcome them as residents as well as business owners!