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Details on Indigo’s Opening Tomorrow

3 Sep
Street Map Painted on the Wall at Indigo

Street Map Painted on the Wall at Indigo

Tomorrow evening Indigo (243 K Street, NE) will open for its first dinner service and will bring authentic Indian cuisine to the corner of K and 3rd Street, NE.  The restaurant will be open for dinner service Monday-Friday and will be open from breakfast through dinner on the weekends.  They will also offer takeout and delivery service in the region.  There will not be a set menu, but instead there will be a rotating menu of Indian dishes that will change every 3-4 days.  Diners will enter the restaurant and order food at the main counter and pick up their meal when it is ready at the counter.  Initially, Indigo (a name derived from “Indian food on the go”) will also have a limited alcohol menu of beer and wine, but they hope to expand their selections in the coming months and have a freestanding bar in the restaurant.  However, authentic Indian street food that highlights the spices and flavors of the region and uses the freshest available ingredients will always be the focus of Indigo.

Counter Where Diners Will Order Their Food at Indigo

Counter-Window Where Diners Will Order Their Food at Indigo

Indigo is the culmination of many years of work in the restaurant industry for husband and wife owners Dinesh and Nidhi Tandon.  The Tandons owned a restaurant in India for several years prior to moving to the United States in 2003.  While they took a few years off from the culinary industry when they first moved to this country, they began operating a food truck in 2010 that served Indian dishes right outside of Union Station.   As Dinesh explained, they had a very strong response to their food and soon they had a large enough fan base that they expanded their operation to a stall at Eastern Market that has been operating for the past two years.  They also began to do a strong catering business and last year began operating a stand once a week at Georgetown University’s market.  During this time of expansion, they rented an industrial kitchen in Virginia and were having to work incredibly long hours (many times waking up at 3am) to go from market to market picking up ingredients, bringing them back to their rented kitchen, cooking the dishes, and then transporting them to Eastern Market (or the Georgetown University market) to sell.  Throughout this time, they dreamed of finding a place where they could establish a brick and mortar restaurant.

Their search for the ideal location took a while.  Dinesh looked at several places on H Street and entered serious negotiations, but none of them worked out.  He kept searching everyday for potential places.  The Tandons have a house near Trinidad in NE, and Dinesh would frequently pass by the Franklin Carryout located at 3rd and K Street, NE.  While the market was fairly rundown, Dinesh believed that it would be a great location to establish a restaurant.  One day the owner of Franklin Carryout put the place on the market; Dinesh responded within hours of the listing. Continue reading