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All India closes Friday, after 16-month run

All India Café owner Samraj Arora, right, and his mother Divya Arora are sad to close their restaurant. - Leslie Brown/staff photo
All India Café owner Samraj Arora, right, and his mother Divya Arora are sad to close their restaurant.
— image credit: Leslie Brown/staff photo

All India Cafe, which opened in March 2008 and has struggled in recent months, is about to shutter its doors for good.

Samraj Arora, who currently runs the restaurant on his own, said the café on the corner of Bank Road and Vashon Highway simply doesn’t have enough customers to pay its bills.

The restaurant got off to a rocky start, he said, when it was swarmed by Islanders eager to try out its exotic cuisine and couldn’t keep pace with the demand.

“Some never tried us again,” he said.

The recession added to the restaurant’s woes, he said.

But his former partner, Ramesh Kumar, has not walked away from the enterprise and will open a new restaurant in that space — French or Italian cuisine — soon, he said.

As for Arora, 26, he plans to head to California, where he’ll try his hand in the restaurant business again.

“I lost money here, but I gained experience,” he said. “I learned a lot of new recipes.”

He’s sad to leave, he added, and had nothing but praise for his landlord, Matt Bergman. “People are really nice on Vashon Island,” he said.

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