If the student can't get to Mumbai, Mumbai shall come to the student … and teacher, and regular Cleveland joe and anyone else who's interested in a plate of vada pav or pani puri.
Those dishes, along with an entire menu of classic Indian street food will be available at the new eatery Bombay Chaat
, 2044 Euclid Avenue, as early as March 1st
. Entrepreneurs Hetal Patel and her husband Nehal are putting forth the venture.
"They wanted to do something interesting and unique," says building owner Richard Bole. "This is the first dedicated Indian street food concept in Cleveland."
Bole is leasing the entire first floor of his building, 8,000-square-feet, to the Patels. Half of the space is under construction, including the kitchen, restrooms and seating for 60. The space will also feature a mural by local artist Erin Mazza. Work on the other half of the project, an international sports bar, is slated for later this year.
Plans for the bar include a limited late night menu and showings of international sporting events such as Premiere League games and cricket matches from countries afar (think India versus Pakistan) in an effort to attract international students.
"That's kind of the niche they're looking for," says Bole. The couple also manages a convenience store at 1900 Euclid Avenue Lofts
and some Subway franchises.
Tentative future plans include bringing an actual street food stall from India and nestling it right on Euclid Avenue, from whence hungry passers-by will purchase exotic paper-wrapped snack foods.
"I think it could be very popular and I think it has a lot of appeal to the younger demographic on campus," says Bole. "Everything they're doing is trying to authenticate what you would see in India."
Bole purchased the 66,000-square-foot building in 2007.
"When I bought it," he says, "it was a 70 percent vacant, Class C office building."
He went to work converting much of the space into apartments. The 22 units range from 720- to 2,000-square feet with monthly rents from $800 to $1,950. Plans for five more units are in the works, with construction slated to begin once the restaurant is complete. The existing units are fully leased, with 80 on the waiting list.
The building also houses 8,000-square feet of office space. Tenants include Donley's Construction
and Dorcherty Talent and Modeling
Most of the work on the project, which Bole characterizes as "long and difficult," was completed last year. Doty & Miller
were the general architects; however, Mahler & Associates
were the architects for the restaurant. Investment details for the project are confidential.
Bole muses on the meteoric rise of Downtown's residential scene. "As recently as 2003," he notes, "the population on our block was pretty much zero and now it's got to be three or four hundred."
The impetus for Bole's development effort was born during a stint living in New York City. "I thought we had the same architectural bones as some of those neighborhoods and the potential to do something similar," he says.
"I'm kind of a crazy dreamer like anyone else in this business."