Spice Route quietly closes its doors, new eatery to open soon

After a four-year effort, the owners of Spice Route quietly closed their Indian restaurant this week, saying they just didn’t have enough customers to keep it open any longer.

Jaskaran Singh, who managed the restaurant on his family’s behalf, said Wednesday night, “Were not getting the business.”

The owners, who operate a bustling Indian restaurant on Bainbridge Island, “did our best,” he added. Every month, they’ve offered up half of their proceeds to various nonprofit organizations, from the Vashon Island Schools Foundation to Vashon Youth & Family Services. All told, Singh said, the business donated more than $20,000 to the community.

“But the community didn’t support us,” he said.

“It’s always just like this,” he added, looking around the colorfully appointed but near-empty restaurant. “We’re losing money.”

The restaurant’s last night was Wednesday.

Matt Bergman, who owns the building that houses the Spice Route, said a new enterprise is taking on the restaurant’s lease. Like the Spice Route, the new eatery will offer Indian food, he said, but the menu will also include Western-style items. A greater emphasis will also be placed on the bar, he said.

The new owners plan to undertake some renovations and will open in late September, Bergman said.

Deborah Richards, the executive director of the Vashon Chamber of Commerce, said she was sorry to see the Spice Route close.

“I believe they reached out and tried very hard to connect with the community. It’s sad and unfortunate that it was not reciprocated,” she said. “There were a lot of people who did support them, but it wasn’t enough.”

On Wednesday, some said they were sad to see the restaurant close its doors. Amber Matusky was there with her 6-year-old daughter Natalia, who chose the restaurant as the place she wanted to eat at that night to celebrate her first day of school.

And Marita Erickson, as she walked in the door and was escorted to a table, turned to Singh and asked, “Is there anything we can do to change your mind? We’re going to miss you.”

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