The owner of Rotorua’s popular Café Ephesus has sold the venue after 15 years in charge. Niyazi Gunaydin started at Café Ephesus as a chef after moving to New Zealand from Turkey in 1999 before taking over as owner in 2003.

“I bought it because I wanted my own place,” he said. “I’m selling now because this is a 24/7 job, not much life and always working. Fifteen years is a long time and it’s only me, not working by myself, but I do a lot of things and I want some time for myself.”

Gunaydin was a popular figure on Rotorua’s Eat Street.

“The changes to Eat Streat look nice, people like it and the atmosphere is great. I’ll miss all the people, every day I would go to work – I always talk to people, they always talk to me. It’s the best place to go.”

The venue was purchased by Mac’s Steakhouse owner Lucky Gulati.