Owners of Pera Bistro and Hobson's Choice team up to create CasaLina, homestyle cooking
WILLIAMSTOWN — The Williamstown restaurant CasaLina has made significant changes to its staff.
When CasaLina opened in April 2018, it was an Italian eatery headed by Fahri Karakaya, the owner of another Williamstown restaurant, Pera Bistro. But an inconsistent schedule led to confusion about the restaurant's future.
After closing for the winter, CasaLina is open again, this time with Karakaya's wife, Melahat Karakaya in the driver's seat, a new chef, Dan Campbell, and manager, Keri Serra.
Melahat Karakaya did not attend the interview for this article.
Campbell previously was chef/owner at Hobson's Choice, down the road from CasaLina, for 26 years. The restaurant closed in 2018. His addition to the staff has revamped the entire restaurant, which now will focus on a wide range of locally-sourced food, including meat, seafood and pasta.
"The new menu is hearty, homestyle cooking," said Serra. "It's like walking into your kitchen, but having someone else cook for you."
So far, Serra said, business has been primarily old patrons of Hobson's Choice, but the hope is to attract returning Williams Colege students in the fall with a late-night scene, including an open mic and sports channels. Though Serra wants more publicity, she and Campbell agree that their location will help attract customers.
"In Williamstown, everybody knows everybody else," Campbell said. "You don't fly under the radar."
Karakaya, who helps his wife with CasaLina, points to Campbell as the future of the restaurant.
"Dan is the local people's favorite, and he's created a good menu," said Karakaya. Adds Serra: "We want people to know that we have Dan Campbell now. We reopened with him and his culinary skill in mind."
CasaLina is now open from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and closed Mondays.
Reach Sophie Gaddes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CasaLina's hours have been updated since this article was first published, and have been corrected here.
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