After four months in the West Loop, Tikkawala is closing its doors on Saturday. The owners are billing it as a temporary “reset” — daily service will be shut down, but they’ll continue to use the space for special dinners such as one last month that featured South Indian cuisine. In recent weeks they pulled back many of their more creative menu offerings that were available when the Indian restaurant opened in June.
Co-owner and chef Hiran Patel said the food was too refined to operate without a liquor license at 1258 W. Jackson Boulevard. He scaled back the menu because of high food costs and stopped the fast-casual lunch service last month as a cost-cutting move. Dinner was where they could use the charcoal grill and prepare more complicated items such as oysters.
Patel and co-chef Sahil Singh worked together at the fast-casual chain Naansense. Tikkawala was supposed to be an outlet for more intricate dishes. They’ll hold on to the space and refine the concept, Patel said. A third partner, Darshan Desai, lives in the same building as the ground-floor restaurant.
It’s a blow to the West Loop where many South Asians craved an option with flavors from the subcontinent. But word is another Indian restaurant could be on its way to the neighborhood. Nothing’s quite official, but stay tuned for more news on that project and the future of Tikkawala.
The Reader first reported the impending shutter.