Harlem Indian Restaurant Chaiwali will close after six years

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Chaiwali is leaving after six years in the neighborhood. Anita Trehan, the chef and owner of the famed Harlem Indian restaurant, attributed the closure to a drop in foot traffic in an email to customers on Thursday, according to patch. “Really, I did everything I could to keep it going,” she told the publication. The restaurant’s last day of service is Sunday, December 12.

Trehan opened Chaiwali in 2015, influenced by the flavors of her native Delhi and the lack of good chai in Manhattan at the time. The restaurant, located on the renovated first floor of the brownstone where the chef lives, caught the eye of New York Times criticism Pete Wells in 2016, who rented its eccentric decor – stuffed animals, flamboyant murals, etc. – and its “intensely flavored” menu in a one-star review.

In his email to customers, Trehan called the upcoming closure a “hard reset” and hinted that the restaurant may return to a different location in the future.

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