Originally projected for a summer opening, the South Lake Union pub offshoot of Pioneer Square Indian restaurant Nirmal’s is indefinitely delayed.
Co-owner Oliver Bangera tells Eater that the issue is largely Seattle’s seemingly endless building construction, which routinely closes roads and sidewalks. That boom is particularly acute in South Lake Union, where detour signs and orange cones are common sights.
Nirmal Monteiro, the restaurant's chef and namesake, ran a widely praised pub in Bombay called The Elbo Room, and the plan was to recreate that experience in Seattle. Bangera still hopes to open the pub offshoot one day, but for now, it’s a dream deferred.
Bangera and company were looking at securing the former Paddy Coyne space at 1190 Thomas St., but ultimately didn’t want to open amid a construction zone that might mean fewer patrons — even if those empty seats are a short-term issue. Bangera had explored other locations in South Lake Union and Capitol Hill, but kept running into the same problem.
“We need to find a place that can get on its feet quickly,” Bangera says. “We can’t wait for business to pick up while the area’s construction finishes.”
Meanwhile, at Nirmal’s, Monteiro is planning to show off his ability to cook a wide range of Indian cuisines with a new menu that will launch June 19. He’ll hang onto only a couple of very popular dishes while offering even more regional variety, plus roll out a new cocktail list that delves deeper into Indian flavors by using ingredients like curry and mango.
Nirmal’s will also begin serving a separate vegan menu with starters, entrees, and desserts. While vegans have always had a few options on the regular menu, Monteiro and Bangera want to give these diners a full complement of options.