Just one day after news broke that Boulevard 18 had closed, the owner of a longtime New Canaan restaurant that shuttered temporarily in November said he will re-open in the space with a new name, brand and menu.
Chef Prasad Chirnomula, known to locals for his successful restaurant Thali just down the road, said he will open ‘India’ at 62 Main St. toward the end of March or early April.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Chirnomula told NewCanaanite.com.
The new restaurant will feature small plates of “different kinds of Indian food” including many locally sourced, according to Chirnomula. “I’m calling it my re-creation of Indian food, using local ingredients,” he said. Fans of Thali will recognize some anchor food items on the menu as well as some familiar faces among the staff, he said.
Chirnomula said he expects the new restaurant to do a brisk take-out and delivery business. India will feature craft beers such as IPAs and a “classic, new unique mix of cocktails” assembled by professional mixologist Jessica Spector, Chirnomula said.
The building that Thali had operated in since 1998, just down the street, hit the market last month. Chirnomula said he wished Boulevard 18 chef David Raymer all the best.
New Canaan long has been a favorite spot for Chirnomula, who met his would-be wife there at his own 50th birthday party in 2013, marrying two years later. Everyone told Chirnomula he was crazy to open an Indian restaurant in New Canaan 18 years ago, he recalled, “but I told them these are very well-traveled, sophisticated people.” Though it was slow going at the start, the restaurant soon built a loyal local clientele that extended beyond the town line to reach regulars in Hartford, Westchester, Stamford, Greenwich, Pound Ridge and South Salem, he said.
“We had a great run at Thali for 16 years at our old place,” Chirnomula told NewCanaanite.com. “New Canaan diners have given me a great deal of statewide and national recognition and I certainly believe in this town and I am hoping they will continue to support ‘India’ [Restaurant] for another 20 years or so.”
The space at 62 Main St. is an 1868-built structure, owned by a Southport man, according to records on file with the New Canaan Office of the Assessor and Connecticut Secretary of the State. It has been the site of several previous New Canaan restaurants, including Aloi, Belmare, Running Fish, White Oak Bistro and L’Abbee. It also used to house Lissard House, an Irish tea shop and gift store back in the late 1980’s and before that was a VFW Post and a Knights of Columbus branch.