Indian restaurant to close as it searches for a new location in Westport


WESTPORT – For over 25 years, Mumbai Times has been bringing traditional Indian cuisine to people across the city.

But as its lease ends at 616 Post Road East, the restaurant will temporarily close as the owner seeks a new location in Westport.

Tarun Narula, the owner, said the tough decision to close on Jan. 2 came with the loss of their lease. In an article he wrote on the Mumbai Times website, he expressed his gratitude to all of his clients.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for your love and support over the years. It was a pleasure to serve you and we look forward to reopening this restaurant as soon as possible in a location nearby, ”the post read. “In the meantime, visit us at Mumbai Times in Cos Cob and Dhabewala Indian Shack in Stamford for the same great food and service you have enjoyed.”

Narula said on Wednesday that although things were tough over the past two years with the pandemic, she was starting to improve. As the end of the lease neared, he said he assumed the building owner would want to extend the lease as he had done several times before. Mumbai Times first signed a 10-year lease, then three five-year leases.

He said the landlord’s decision not to extend the lease could be because he is considering doing something else with the building. Narula said all other stores in the building were already empty except for the hardware store next to the restaurant.

The owner could not be reached for comment.

“We have no complaints from anyone or the owner,” Narula said. “Everyone has to mind their own business. We have been here for so many years and as long as we were good tenants the owner was good to us.

Narula said her staff and boss, who have been there for 17 years, are eager to relocate and hope to find a smaller place to relocate as soon as possible.

He said because of the issues they faced during the pandemic, a smaller location would benefit them with take out, deliveries as well as reduced staff and lower rents, another issue the restaurant is facing. was faced during the pandemic.

“The trend has been more towards take-out and delivery, so we don’t need as much space in the restaurant for diners,” Narula said.

The pandemic has prevented restaurants from offering on-site dining, which Narula says has moved the company to focus on take-out and deliveries. For Mumabi Times, that meant deliveries had to go through third-party vendors. Narula said the problem with this is that sellers take 30% commission.

“It’s an important part of our business,” said Narula. “The kitchen was always busy and the staff were busy, but 30% of our business went to these third parties. We lost a lot. Who has 30 percent of the profits in the restaurant business? Anybody.”

Narula adds that for him, he wished the restaurant had another year of lease. However, he said, “we have to find something that suits us better now.”

“We really only want to stay in Westport. This is where our base is, ”he said. “The majority of our customers come from Westport.”

Since the news first broke on the restaurant’s website, Narula said patrons from across town emailed her to show their support. A client, who works in real estate, has even been in conversation with Narula to offer to help him find another location for the restaurant. Another customer called to see if he could find a location nearby.

“It’s very kind of the community,” Narula said. “They share that they have always loved our food and our service. They are very saddened by this news and they really hope that we will find a place nearby. “

“We see the love our customers have for us,” he added.

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