It owes its name to the Turkish words Kum Kapisi, which mean Sand Gate owing to the sand gate of the Venetian Walls, which are still visible to visitors to Chania today. Koum Kapi is located behind the east edge of the Old Port.
During the Turkish occupation it was the neighborhood of immigrants and African slaves, known as "halikoutes". The houses of the halikoutes, who worked at the port and market did jobs that the locals did not want to do, were made of straw.
Later Koum Kapi became a square in Chania and over time many restaurants, taverns and cafes and bars opened on the promenade. Today, however, its reputation does not have the same appeal for the general public as the area is now a place for a relaxing coffee and quiet drink with friends.