A new Lebanese-Turkish café and restaurant has opened in Bolton Town Centre.

Palestinian Aref Zakout is the owner of the vibrant new café serving Turkish and Lebanese cuisine at the heart of Bolton, in Newport Street.

Aref works with his son Mohammed after the father of four moved from Palestine 16 years ago to work as a chef in London and Manchester before opening the café in Bolton, where they are now looking to move.

The Bolton News: Aref Zakout at his restaurant.Aref Zakout at his restaurant.

Dina Restaurant opened on Saturday, May 11 and in just four days they have been swamped with new customers ready to try the shawarma, grilled fish, meat and chicken as well as traditional baklava.

Aref said: “I loved my country Palestine, but this country has safety for my family and gives me what I need to run my business and work here.

“I also love hiring people who can’t get a job, here, if they maybe can’t even speak English yet or are struggling, I want to help them.

“I want to help homeless people too if they need it.”

The Bolton News: Aref Zakout at his restaurant.Aref Zakout at his restaurant.

The fifty-year-old has worked as a chef for all his life, and after visiting Bolton, says he fell in love with the town.

He said: “When I visited here, I went everywhere and I couldn’t see many traditional Turkish and Lebanese places to eat in the town, so I thought I would open something and invite people to try it.

“I also wanted to make something nice for the Arabs here that I see, they all love food like this, and they need to see more places doing this cuisine.”

Everything on the menu is made at the café itself, all fresh and is ready to serve.

Aref currently lives with his son 19-year-old son Mohammed and his 18-year-old daughter, who both moved two years ago to be with their dad.

He said: “I left my family many years ago and have not even seen my granddaughter Dina at all, who I named the restaurant after.

“When I went to the airport to see Mohammed, I thought in my mind he’d still be a child, but I saw that he is a man now.

“I was crying a lot because I have missed my family so much and soon my wife will join us.”

Aref is now looking for a new experienced Turkish chef to help out in the kitchen and hopes he can provide more employment in Bolton.