For today’s Q&A with a New Canaan business owner, we talk to Prasad Chirnomula of Chef Prasad. The Main Street restaurant is taking orders from 12 to 7:30 p.m. every day except Tuesday for pickup or delivery. Last year, the Indian restaurant’s busiest day was Mother’s Day, Chirnomula said, with 400 dinners to-go and customers waiting two hours. The website is taking orders for Mother’s Day now. Here’s our interview.
Chef Prasad, the Indian restaurant going in at 62 Main St. in New Canaan, likely will open for takeout and delivery in the third week of May, and offer full dining service in the days that follow, according to the business’s owner. Prasad Chirnomula said he’s “super excited” to train the kitchen and floor staff to his liking and will soft-open within two weeks. The completely renovated space—new black-and-white checkerboard floor, new ceiling, walls, furniture and decor—used to house “India,” Chirnomula’s eatery that closed in December. Owner of longtime New Canaan favorite Thali down the street before that, Chirnomula said Chef Prasad offers a different vibe from India.
Just a few months after closing New Canaan’s only Indian restaurant, a popular chef who had been serving up high-quality food for nearly 20 years here said that he’s reopening in the same space. Prasad Chirnomula said the new restaurant, to be called ‘Chef Prasad,’ will open in the first week of April following an extensive interior renovation. Chirnomula in December closed five restaurants he owned, including India at 62 Main St., because the large operation “basically was not financially viable any longer.”
Now, with a renegotiated lease and a new backer—his own father, Venkat—Chirnomula said he is eager to reopen in New Canaan and focus solely on that restaurant. “The brand was successful and the restaurant was successful but I think financially it got into a hole at some point,” he told NewCanaanite.com. He added: “I think my name resonates pretty well in town and like the town so thanks to my dad for stepping in to help.”
India had been open for nearly two years, serving classic Indian cuisine and signature dishes.
Just over 18 months after opening, India restaurant on Main Street has closed, its owner said. Chef Prasad Chirnomula said he’s closing the downtown eatery which since April 2016 has served classic Indian cuisine and signature dishes, as well as five other locations due in part to “longer structural income versus debt issues.” He added that the restaurant itself did not fare well enough to support the considerable costs of operating it. “I love the town, I love the people there but if you can look at Main Street alone the whole street looks empty, everything is for lease,”Chirnomula said. “And I think I have been in New Canaan and I have seen the peak and Main Street was nice and busy—parking was always an issue, but I think right now almost no businesses are open on Main Street. There are not enough diners.
Since the closing of Thali last November, Chef Prasad Chirnomula has fielded the same question from loyal fans countless times…“When will you be back?”
The answer to that question can finally be announced with certainty. Following a six-week renovation of the space at 62 Main Street that formerly housed Boulevard 18—right down the street from his old restaurant—Chirnomula is ready to open the doors of his newest venture ‘India’ on Monday, April 4. “I’m super-excited,” Chirnomula told NewCanaanite.com at a special preview party for the restaurant on Sunday. “I love New Canaan. I’ve been here so long and everybody’s knocking on the door, asking ‘when are you opening?’ We did a good job—in six weeks we turned the place around.