Le Paris cafe owners making their last stand in Cheltenham
CAFE owners Sardar Jalal and Jimmy Karasan have vowed to make a last stand with their latest venture.
The brothers-in-law have closed two of their cafes in the last month.
Now they are hoping their third, Le Paris in Clarence Street, will prove a success after a revamp project.
Sardar Jalal, 29, and his brother-in-law Jimmy Karasan, opened Le Paris cafe when they came to the country in 2003.
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Last month, Italian restaurant, Cattaro, on Clarence Street closed because of similar reasons.
They said the recession had left them with no choice but to close the Italian restaurant, Cattaro, and a High Street coffee shop last month when they were unable to pay their rent.
Sardar attributed the cafe closure to a drop in the number of people passing the cafe.
"The recession has hit us really hard," he added.
"Business has been poor, and we kept losing money on the other place. When we didn't have enough customers, we couldn't make any money."
He said part of the problem was the influx of eating places within walking distance from Le Paris, with cheaper places making life more difficult.
Jimmy added: "There are so many cheap eating places in Cheltenham, and there needs to be a balance. How can we compete with cafes selling baguettes for 99p?
"We've tried to ask the council to help us, but we haven't heard anything yet."
A baguette costs from £2.80 to £3.30 in their cafe.
Rental for their current cafe puts them back about £28,000 a year, and they pay a business rate of £10,500 a year.
After a failed business venture opening a High Street shop in 2003, the brothers-in-law are now making sure Le Paris does not suffer the same fate as their other businesses.
They have taken steps to prevent its collapse, spending more than £6,000 restyling the cafe into a Turkish restaurant, which they will run in the evening.
New ceiling chimney fans were installed, with a coffee bar, display fridges and a kebab grill. Part of the plans also include applying for an alcohol licence to draw a wider crowd.
Jimmy said: "This is our last place, and our last restaurant.
"Cheltenham was a good place for business, but in the last two years, we've had no new income. We need more tourists, and for people to walk past our business."
The owners will invite their regular customers for a night of free food and drinks when they reopen the cafe next month.
"It's a good thing we still have our regular customers who help us out from time to time," Sardar said.
"Our customers come from as far as Bristol and Wales. We are expecting about 50 people to come to the reopening."