Restaurateur Ajay Walia shuts Michelin-starred fine diner Rasa

Washington, DC: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to alter lives and economy across the US, Indian-American restaurateur has shut his Michelin-starred Indian fine-diner Rasa in California, a media report said.

Ajay Walia said that he has not seen tougher times, especially for the ethnic food industry during his 30 years as a business owner in America, the American Bazaar reported on Friday.

With his contemporary Indian fine-dining space being shut until further notice, he worries each day about growing bills.

Many American restaurants were currently relying on sustaining their business through take-away orders and deliveries.

But Walia’s super fine diner, which has consistently earned a Michelin star for the past four years, could not take the same route.

“My eatery is a luxury dining space. We have always had 99 per cent of our customers as dine-in patrons,” he said.

“While we debate over whether to open the take-out option each day, the truth is for super fine-diners it does not make much sense.

“Also, as a responsible citizen, I do realize that our business is a luxury dining space and does not really come under the essentials category.”

“Like millions of other Americans, we explored the Stimulus package, as well as the COVID-19 Economic Injury and Disaster Loan, but the SBA (Small Business Administration) website crashed just the next day people began applying for loans.”

But his other eatery, Saffron, just 5 miles away from his Michelin star restaurant, was open for take-outs and patrons were trying to be as regular as they can be during these times, Walia added. (IANS)

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