Nirmal's, Pioneer Square's upscale Indian restaurant, is coming up on its first year anniversary. Now, the team behind the restaurant is planning to branch out with an Indian pub concept for South Lake Union, which it hopes to open next summer — critic Providence Cicero broke the news in last week's three-star review of the restaurant.
Nirmal's co-owner Oliver Bangera told Eater that he's in talks to secure a lease for the space formerly home to Paddy Coyne at 1190 Thomas St. Nirmal Monteiro, the restaurant's chef and namesake, has a widely-praised pub in Bombay called The Elbo Room, and Bangera said the team hopes to recreate that experience in Seattle, albeit under a different name that's still being considered.
"We hope to create something we don't yet see in Seattle," Bangera said. "An Indian pub with good cocktails, good beer, and good Indian food."
Bangera alluded to the failure of top-notch SLU Indian restaurant Shanik, which closed in March 2015 despite the serious firepower behind it in the form of owner Meeru Dhalwala, who co-owns Vancouver's wildly successful Vij's with her husband Vikram Vij. But the neighborhood has grown since Shanik folded, and Bangera is hoping a casual pub is a better fit for the after-work crowd than an upscale restaurant.
So what can Seattle expect of the new venture? Small plates at low prices, rather than the more elaborate cuisine of Nirmal's, for starters. The experience will be centered around the Indian concept of chaat, which refers to savory snacks available at roadside stalls and food carts. You'll be able to drop in for a post-work bite, say, or a low-cost dinner of tandoori chicken and a beer. "But we'll continue the culture of service and hospitality from Nirmal's," Bangera said.