Here’s a dosa drop of news before the weekend starts in Chicago: Art of Dosa, the popular South Indian pop-up that’s been in search of a permanent home, is popping up next week at the Forum 55 food hall in the Loop.
Owner Ravi Nagubadi has more news: Art of Dosa will also be one of the vendors at next week’s Riot Fest in Douglas Park. There’s a segment of punk rockers who are infamously vegan and vegetarian, so it should be a great fit for the music festival that takes place September 14 through 16. Too bad Morrissey isn’t playing.
The initial pop-up lasts a week at Forum 55, but they’ll be back. It’ll be at what’s branded as the food hall’s Foodworks pop-up station. It’s part of ownership’s commitment to give more opportunities to independent restaurant owners, particularly women and people of color. The day after AOD’s done at Forum 55, another pop-up starts: From September 17 to 21 it’ll serve dosas at Pine Street Kitchen at 401 N. Michigan Avenue.
“It’s pretty exciting to have so many opportunities afloat,” Nagubadi said.
Nagubadi had signed a lease for a restaurant space in the Loop, but the deal fell through. He’s now working on a few other announcements. Art of Dosa is vying to be Chicago’s first restaurant that specializes in dosa, the South Indian fermented wrap that’s filled with ingredients and crisped on a griddle. While it’ll have traditional fillings like spiced potatoes, Art of Dosa also will serve vegan options like chicken 65 and Buffalo chicken made with meat substitutes. There’s also a ramen dosa. While Chicago has restaurants that serve dosa, Art of Dosa would be the first to specialize in it, something that’s a familiar sight in India. It’ll have different dosa options than the typical Indian restaurant.
If lines at events such as Tastemaker Chicago are an indicator, Nagubadi could be sitting on a gold mine. Art of Dosa drew the longest lines of customers attending the festival held in August in the West Loop. Many had never heard of dosa. Nagubadi is having fun as a dosa ambassador.
“It’s a humble beginning, but a beautiful one,” he said.