BY SUSAN E. CAMPBELL
Alaturco Mediterranean Grill opened
recently in Ballston Spa, offering traditional
grilled kebabs, gyros and falafels,
and family favorites like baba ghanousch
Alaturco is the first venture into restaurant
co-ownership and management
for Saba Kum. Kum said she “fell in love with” her
job at another local Mediterranean
restaurant and after only six months determined
to go into business for herself.
Partnering with investor Bahadir Ziya,
she leased space at 2007 Doubleday Ave.
and did minor renovations with the help
of family and staff.
The location was a restaurant before
it was vacated by Boost Mobile. Kum said
the space was “in good shape. All it really
needed was some paint and restroom
updates,” she said.
Alaturco fired up the grills and opened
its doors the first week of August.
Chef Ralph Ziya, Bahadir’s brother, had
left Florida to launch a Saratoga Springs
eatery. Kum relocated in 2012 when her
husband transferred with a company that
supplies product for GlobalFoundries.
The two met.
The idea to go into business and hire
Ziya developed as Kum worked with him
for only a few months. She admits, “I love
the food” and sharing “fresh and healthy
cooking” with customers.
“We have a very experienced Mediterranean
chef,” Kum said.
“Thirty years experience,” said Ziya. “I
have opened 17 restaurants, either as an
owner, partner or chef.”
From Brooklyn to California to Florida
to New Jersey and upstate New York,
Ziya has been specializing in his “mom’s
recipes” since 1980. But at his house, his
“When a chef cooks he can’t eat,” Ziya
said. “So someone has to prepare food for
me, and my mother-in-law is an excellent
Kum has Turkish parents and was
raised in Germany, where she was exposed
to the cuisine of many nations and which
may have inspired the European-sounding
name of her restaurant.
“Ballston Spa is a very nice place with
a combination of families and working
people” that she wants to appeal to, said
Alaturco Mediterranean Grill is open
Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.
to 10 p.m. and offers free delivery. The
phone number is 490-2338.