As any entrepreneur can tell you, opening a new restaurant can be a gamble even during the best of times. Opening a new restaurant during a pandemic, though? That might be the true definition of brave…or crazy.
For the owners of India 47, that little bit of crazy has paid off.
The new Indian fusion restaurant at the corner of Lesperance and E.C Row opened April 8th to instant rave reviews, garnering praise from residents all across the area including local MP Irek Kusmierczyk.
“You drive around and you see so many restaurants and businesses closed right now,” says co-owner Nick Aujla. “We thought, why not open? It gives people a little glimmer of hope they might need and a different kind of takeout option.”
Plans for the restaurant had been in the works for months, and despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Aujla and his three partners decided to go ahead with the original opening date, albeit not exactly as they had imagined.
Aujla explains that although they had always intended to offer a takeout option down the road, their main focus had initially been to create a high-end dining experience with a pub atmosphere on one side of the restaurant and a spacious, comfortable dining room on the other.
Like so many other local restaurants, India 47 had to adapt on the fly, shifting to a takeout only model and ensuring proper safety measures are in place. To limit the number of people in the restaurant at one time, customers are given a specific timeframe to pick up their meal. Spots are marked every 6 feet on the floor to ensure adequate social distancing, and plenty of hand sanitizer is available to both customers and staff.
While Aujla and his team look forward to filling the dining room in the future, this twist of fate has offered them the unique ability to introduce their menu to the public and build a clientele.
“It gave us an opportunity to test the market and see if people enjoy our food,” adds Aujla. “To be honest the response has been unbelievable. We’ve been getting so many great reviews through word of mouth and social media. We’ve been slammed every night since we opened.”