Discovering Dalyan - Your Last Drop: Sinan's Place
Local man Sinan Korkmaz epitomises the phrase "family business" with his bar and restaurant 'Sinan's Place'. As a businessman with his fingers in many pies, this was once true of all of his endeavours. His lovely wife Serpil could be found in the kitchen, his beautiful daughter Melike would be behind the bar and you could find his extremely tall son Metin driving around town in the family taxi. Nowadays Metin works for the local bus company and spends his days driving across the coast to Fethiye, but cute as a button two year old Hasan has more than filled that gap with his cheeky chops!
Sinan's Extensive Bar!
Above the bar sits a large sign which is colourfully lit at night, visible to all that drink or eat at the establishment and is a true testament to the love of Sinan for his family. It reads 'SS + MM' which literally stands for Sinan, Serpil, Melike and Metin. All that is missing now is an 'H' for the most recent addition to the family, Hasan. Sinan's Place is a business built for the family, by the family. As a loyal customer, your name's initial may not be lit up in bright lights, but it is easy to feel that love and respect extended to you. Just a brief look at Sinan's Facebook page is proof enough that a new family is found every day at Sinan's Place.
Loyal Customers at Sinan's Place
Sinan's Place dons the apt tag line 'Last Drop' and it quite literally has been my last drop on many occasions! It is perfectly positioned for those who choose to stay in the popular Gülpınar area of Dalyan, situated on the Gülpınar Road which runs for 1km from the 'Turtle Roundabout' and Mosque Square in the centre, to the very edge of town and the road that eventually takes you into Ortaca. Sinan's Place sits at the halfway point of Gülpınar Road, 500m from the centre of town. It is easy to reach and difficult to miss. One of many things that Sinan excels at is the ability to hire staff of the highest quality. Just a brief conversation with one of them and you won't want to pass by this bar.
Melike's Fiancé Gives out Flowers to Customers on Mother's Day
So, Sinan's Place may very well be your last drop on the way back to your hotel, villa or apartment after an evening in town, or it possibly could be where you have the last drink or meal of your holiday while waiting for the family taxi, now driven by kind and gentle local man Serkan, to take you to the airport amid fond farewells. For some, it is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the town at night, while soaking up that traditional Turkish ambience and hospitality. If you are a regular in Dalyan and Sinan's Place has never been your last drop, perhaps it should be and if you are new to Dalyan, make sure that it is!
Watch our short film below about the Korkmaz family and find out more about Sinan's Place!
Our YouTube Video About Sinan and his Family
Sinan grew up in the Black Sea Region of Turkey on the north coast in the town and district of Ünye of the Ordu Province. Ünye is a stark contrast to Dalyan, with a warm and wet climate set in one of the flatter areas of the Black Sea. The local economy in Ünye relies on agriculture, with hazelnuts dominating local trade. While July and August are high season in Dalyan, Ünye becomes quieter, with most of the locals escaping to the countryside for the hazelnut harvest.
Ünye, Ordu Province, Black Sea Region of Turkey
However, tourism was no stranger to Sinan. With its quiet spots for picnics and walking and with its excellent beaches, Ünye is one of the more popular holiday spots on the eastern Black Sea Coast. As with many Turks, Sinan saw the potential of the tourism industry in Turkey and like many of the locals who have settled in Dalyan, studied Tourism and Hotel Management at Muğla University, later specialising in Business Management.
Sinan continued his training in Dalyan, working for one of the town's popular hotels for thirteen years. It was after this long stint in hotel management that he decided to branch out on his own. The result of this was the Dalyan Café Bar and later, in 2011, he opened the infamous Sinan's Place, the establishment that is now so well known and loved in Dalyan.
Smart Uniforms at Sinan's Place
As well as acquiring his own taxi, offering transport around town and competitive airport transfers, he has continued to hone his hotel management skills and experience by managing luxury holiday apartments Osmanlı Hanı, just a five minute walk from Sinan's Place on the Dalyan river. But it doesn't just stop there. Through years of building trusted relationships with tourists and expats, Sinan also runs a very successful high end property management company which looks after British owned properties when it comes to holiday lets or maintenance.
Impeccable Service at Sinan's Place - a Team Effort
Despite all of his business ventures, Sinan's Place remains the jewel in his crown. It is the closest thing to a British gastro-pub that you will find in Dalyan, while staying true to Turkish traditions. If you like the idea of a place feeling like a home from home, this bar is definitely somewhere you should spend some time. The establishment is open plan with large canvass rolled walls which open the building up to the elements when the weather is good, which is most of the time. Dining tables are scattered across one half of the space, while more traditional Turkish seating, including a couple of köşk style areas, fill the other half for those looking for a laid back drink.
A Large Selection of Imported Drinks
The similarities with some of our favourite British pubs are uncanny. The bar itself is enticing and inviting with a myriad of spirit bottles adorning the walls and high stools for customers to perch on while enjoying the surprisingly witty banter of the staff. Sinan's is also one of the only bars in Dalyan which sells a huge selection of imported drinks, such as Guinness, Corona and Magners alongside Turkish favourites such as Efes beer. As an avid fan of whiskies himself, you can always be sure that the top shelf is well stocked too!
Cocktails at Sinan's Place
Sinan always has a member of bar staff who specialises in cocktails and boy are they good. They have the largest selection of cocktails that I have seen in Dalyan and while they are not the conventional mixes you would find in Britain or the US (I don't think Turkey has clocked on to cranberry juice yet), they are seriously delicious and are served with a side dish of flare! You may well become the centre of attention in Gülpınar if you order a cocktail at Sinan's Place, but as soon as you are on your merry way down the road of getting tipsy, you just won't care! Oh and remember goldfish bowls anybody? Oh yes, at Sinan's place they are back on the menu!
Cocktails with Flare! (Or a Flare Gun Perhaps!?)
The hundreds of drinks aside, the bar has a good sized pool table which is frequently used during the summer. There is a darts board in the garden which also hosts a children's playground, a place you can often find his little son Hasan rallying around in one of the kid sized cars, if he's not off charming the customers!
Quiz Night at Sinan's Place in Support of Kaptan June's Turtle Foundation
Sinan also holds a weekly pub quiz on a Sunday at 6pm, run by local expats and supporters of Kaptan June's Turtle Foundation. Each week the quiz raises a handful of money for the charity and Kaptan June can sometimes be found joining the fun in support of the fundraising. Be warned though, the expats do take the quiz very seriously and half the fun for tourists is trying to beat them!
A Very Turkish Kitchen
Turkish food! Well, a restaurant, bar, gastro-pub, whatever you want to call it, wouldn't have two legs to stand on if there was no food, and trust me, at Sinan's Place, excellent dishes are in abundance! Sinan and his long serving chef have an extensive menu, one which will have you salivating at just a glance. During the day you can find typical bar snacks and easy fill lunches such as burgers, toasties, meze, pancakes and salads. If you want to eat by the pool, sadly the facilities at Sinan's Place stop short at providing a private pool, but takeaway is of course always an option!
Beautiful Presentation at Sinan's Place
By night, the delicious Turkish cuisine comes out to play and you really are spoilt for choice. Every kebab or clay pot you could care for is on the menu, a leg of lamb can be ordered in advance and every chicken and beef dish you can imagine is there waiting for you if you want it. The steaks, by the way, are second to none; absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection, served with chunky homemade chips! At Sinan's Place, presentation is paramount, every little detail is thought about and when you get impeccable service alongside warmth, welcome and friendship, it might just be one of the best bars in the world!
Staff and Family at Sinan's Place
What really captures your heart at Sinan's Place though is their family. From the very moment you walk into this bar you feel like you are at home. Evidence of the love and friendships that the Korkmaz family have nurtured over the years are everywhere. From the trinkets displayed above the bar, to the photos and messages pinned to the shelves and the signed t-shirts that decorate the walls, the proof is there to see. As with many people in Dalyan, if there is anything that you need, Sinan can be your aid.
The Whole Team!
It is this kind of above and beyond hospitality which brings his customers back year after year. Put Sinan's Place on your Dalyan to do list!