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Array Essex: Kem Cetinay gives a sneak peek at new Harold Wood restaurant

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:26 21 July 2020

Array Essex, formally the Shepherd and Dog in Harold Wood, was originally scheduled for a June opening. Picture: Lap Design Studio

Array Essex, formally the Shepherd and Dog in Harold Wood, was originally scheduled for a June opening. Picture: Lap Design Studio

Kem Cetinay/Finery Media

The Love Island star from Romford has been working on his new project at the former Shepherd and Dog in Harold Wood for more than a year now.

Kem Cetinay confirmed that the glossy restaurant/bar Array Essex – which was originally due to open in June – will not be a Turkish restaurant.

He told the Recorder: “I’m a local boy trying to do something special for the locals. It’s very exciting for me and my family.”

Kem, who went to Emerson Park Academy, said in an Instagram video that his family had been regulars at the Shepherd and Dog for years and they even salvaged a photograph of the Shepherd and Dog from 1929 when it was built.

Niyazi, Kem’s dad said: “Why the Shepherd and Dog? Kemal was brought up in this area. This is the area that he knows all his local people and he’s got a very strong community here and he wants to give something back.”

His mum, Figen, added: “I’m worried that I will want to go there with my friends but you’ll all be too young!”

Kem’s business partner and restaurateur of 18 years Nadir Gul, who owns Turkish restaurant Shish Meze in Hornchurch, said: “I got a phone call from the chef at the Shepherd and Dog saying that they wanted to sell it and he [Kem] said to me ‘let’s just go and have a look’.”

“And we came here and straight away we made a decision and we said that we were going to go for it.”

Kem said: “I’ve been so stressed the last six months putting this together! I really want to do this for all the local people who have supported me since I came out of Love Island.”

Array Essex will include a sizeable new extension which is well under way and at the moment there is no confirmed opening date,


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