The man behind one of Swansea's longest-running Italian restaurants who's on a mission to change the vibe of Swansea Marina

By Liz Perkins

A restaurant owner who got a taste for Swansea while he was on holiday loved it so much he never wanted to leave.

Sel Meseci, 39, quit working as a chef in Liverpool for the city because of its great welcome.

He set up the Italian restaurant Gallinis back in March 2013, which has won a top reputation for its fine dining and good service.

And now he's trying to transform the vibe of the city’s Marina area after throwing open the doors of a second outlet.

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Sel Meseci outside Gallinis in Swansea Marina. He has expanded his business to open The Anchor in Swansea. (Sel Meseci)

He said: “I was on holiday in Swansea and to be honest I love it.

“It’s a fantastic place to go, I thought it was always a sunny place as I always travelled there in July.

“I feel like I have known people for 10 years, they are so welcoming here.

“I think I have done the right thing moving to Swansea, I do not want to move anywhere else.

“We are working and can’t complain, if you want something you have to go for something - we are enjoying the work.”

Such is Gallinis reputation that it has gone on to become one of Swansea’s favourite restaurants for more than a decade. New dishes and ideas have been placed on the menu alongside old classics and fresh fish dishes, which have been caught that day from shark to lobster, sea bass and other local fish.

His success also led him to open The Anchor in a bid to offer customers a sense of escapism.

By opening the doors of his second outlet, Sel is joining forces with other business owners to help the area thrive.

Ice cream is also on offer at The Anchor in Swansea Marina. (Sel Meseci)
Sel Meseci owns Gallini's in Swansea Marina which has a host of favourite dishes. He has also opened The Anchor. (Sel Meseci)

Sel, who opened The Anchor ahead of the pandemic in December 2019, said the Marina has become the place to go.

He said: “We are working all together here - we strive to change the vibe of Swansea Marina.

“The Marina is getting more successful, all the businesses are helping each other.

“We want everyone to feel like they’re at home, whilst also feeling like they’re on holiday, with good music, views and, of course, food.

“We make home-made pizza and others make tapas and we send each other customers.

“Neighbouring business would say it is much busier than before in this area.”

He added: “We are on track - to be honest I wanted to open The Anchor because I like the challenge - it’s a quiet area and I wanted to make it more lovely.

“It’s more of a quick, home-made cooking restaurant place.

“It’s a place people can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere, if they want alcohol they can have alcohol, if they want coffee they can have coffee - we have four to five different styles of business.

“We have the outside and the inside for people to enjoy, the Marina is amazing when the sun is out.”

Sel, who is originally from Istanbul in Turkey, has worked in a variety of holiday resorts and restaurants that have helped him to take on a series of challenges.

He managed to get his new business through the pandemic through the transformation of the firm through lockdown.

Sel Meseci owns Gallini's in Swansea Marina which has a host of favourite dishes. He has also opened The Anchor. (Sel Meseci)

Sel said: “It was awful timing, but I like a challenge and we made it the best we could, providing take away services and getting to know our customers on their ‘one a day’ during lockdown.

“Everyone was shut around Swansea Marina.

“Our customers are like family to us.

“We have so many regulars that we know by name who have supported us throughout the pandemic, which we are so grateful for.

“Our lockdown customers became our loyal customers.”

Sel said he hoped customers from the arena would also have a knock-on effect on the business.

“Our restaurants are truly our passion,” he said.

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