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An Acclaimed Indian Restaurant, Run Out of the Chef’s Home in Harlem, Calls It Quits

Plus, Trader Joe’s announces an opening date for its Williamsburg location — and more intel

A screenshot from Google Maps, which shows a pedestrian walking in front of a restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.
The exterior of Chaiwali, photographed in May 2019.
Google Maps

Chaiwali is calling it quits after six years in the neighborhood. Anita Trehan, the chef and owner behind the popular Harlem Indian restaurant, attributed the closure to a downturn in foot traffic in an email to customers on Thursday, according to Patch. “Truly I have done everything that I could do to keep it going,” she said to the publication. The restaurant’s final 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 attention of New York Times critic Pete Wells in 2016, who praised its eccentric decor — taxidermied animals, flamboyant murals, and so on — and “intensely flavored” menu in a one-star review.

In her email to customers, Trehan referred to the upcoming closure as a “hard reset,” and hinted that the restaurant may return at another location in the future.

A vegetarian pop-up from a forthcoming queer-owned restaurant

Ahead of its opening in the East Village next year, queer-owned restaurant Hags will be popping up at Daughter in Crown Heights next week. Plans for the one-night dinner include a three-course vegetarian menu priced at $35, with wine pairings available from sommelier and Hags co-owner Camille Lindsley. Service runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 11; first come, first served.

Same week, different Trader Joe’s

Less than a week after Trader Joe’s landed on the Upper East Side, the national grocer announced plans to open yet another New York outpost at 200 Kent Avenue, at Metropolitan Avenue, in Williamsburg. The store, which opens Friday, December 10 at 8 a.m., is the third Trader Joe’s in the borough — after locations in Cobble Hill and Dekalb Market — and the first in north Brooklyn.

There’s no stopping the Korean corn dog

Two Hands, an early pioneer in the city’s growing Korean corn dog scene, has opened its latest outpost at 95 MacDougal Street, near Bleecker Street. This Greenwich Village takeout counter is the third New York location for Two Hands, a national brand with more than a dozen shops across California, Texas, and Arizona — and roughly 40 more in the works, according to its website.

Remember ElfCon?

It turns out the borough-wide hot cocoa crawl is organized by a 15-year-old.