Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

North India Bar & Grill has closed

This & That 038The owner of North India Bar & Grill in Clovis has sold the building and closed the restaurant. The restaurant on Shaw Avenue closed Monday — the same day the building sold — and workers were hauling tables and kitchen equipment into moving trucks Tuesday.

Owner Surinder Singh said the 5-year-old restaurant struggled to strike the right balance between people who wanted authentic Indian food and people who thought that authentic food was too strong or spicy.

“People are not into Indian overall, generally speaking,” he said of the Fresno/Clovis area, noting that every day customers would come in saying they’d never had Indian food before. He spent advertising dollars on radio ads that tried to educate people about the food.

Singh said he ran an Indian restaurant in San Francisco for 13 years that had lines waiting for him to open every day before he sold it and opened the restaurant here.

“Here, it’s different,” he says. “It’s more of a chain market than a mom and pop market.”

Responses to "North India Bar & Grill has closed"

Kristin C says:

I loved eating there, but the actual reason that I didn’t make it a common choice was that it was way out in Clovis. I am more likely to drive up to Brahma Bull, because it is closer. I don’t know that the owner fully took into account who his customer base would be.

Delaine Zody says:

He IS right. Fresno is a different animal as restaurants go. I don’t understand this love affair with chains or big, overblown places.

Matt Gomes says:

i dunno. don’t live in fresno/clovis area anymore, but i was more likely to go somewhere else because i found north india a little pricy. there are several other established indian restaurants in north fresno and west fresno.

Dribble says:

Fresno wants big helpings of food. Quantity not quality.
Great lamb burger for lunch. This joint will be missed.

Brandon says:

Say what you will about chains and Fresno’s food preferences, I stopped going there due to location and quality. North India never really had a mom and pop feel in the first place in my opinion.

Amelia says:

We love Indian food, but we only went to North India once. Our favorite Indian restaurant in Fresno is Tandoori Night, on the southwest corner of Herndon and Blackstone. The interior isn’t as pretty as North India’s was, but the food is great and the owner and his wife are very friendly. They must be doing okay because they’ve opened another restaurant, Chili Night, on Shaw. The restaurant business is notoriously tricky so it’s often hard to say exactly why a restaurant doesn’t click. We prefer to stay away from chains and try new places and, Fresno’s reputation notwithstanding, there are plenty to choose from. Two recent discoveries: Organic Fresno, west of the 99 between Olive and Belmont. Go on a Friday or Saturday evening and experience a bit of mystery theatre. And Fasika’s Ethiopian Restaurant on Blackstone. Delicious.

Lisa says:

I hope no one got stuck with gift certificates. I often saw deals on deal saver or groupin.

Patty says:

I did! $25 down the drain!

George B.(DUKE) says:

You are not out $25….you go to groupon or deal saver and get your money on a different place…read the fine print.

Rebecca says:

If you had a Groupon you can get money back.

Marjorie says:

I am really bummed this place closed! I LOVE North India! I didn’t go there as often, however, because the rest of my family wouldn’t go there. :( They don’t like Indian food. We had many an excellent meal there.

James says:

I wish businesses would stop pointing the blame at customers; if the issue is with the customers, they failed to research the market thoroughly. Patrons and potential patrons don’t want to be educated; they want to be wooed and wowed. They want value, but that doesn’t always mean portion size. And they want consistency. North India lost that long ago when they converted to a part-time night club.

soddruntlestuntle says:

The last line of the article says it all:

“Here, it’s different,” he says. “It’s more of a chain market than a mom and pop market.”

A damn shame.

Daniel says:

I work within a mile of this place and have gone here a few different times. Pretty much never had anyone I was with complain about the food itself.

That being said, every time I went service was absolutely terrible. You know when you go to a restaurant and you get the feeling that the lazy waiter got his job through nepotism?

Prices also slightly on the high side.

Steven Lieber says:

While he’s right about Fresno being a chain town, his food was average at best, and service was below average. I once had to wait an hour for my food, and it didn’t even crack the top 50 of Indian places I’ve dined at. He had issues besides the pathetic Fresno food market.

He did bring up a good point about the Fresno market. I’ve lived in Seattle and the bay area and sorely miss eating good food. It’s so bad here that I make a trip to Northern or Socal at least once a month. Fresno has to be the least sophisticated group of people in California. Here PF Changs passes for authentic Chinese, Famous Daves is real bbq and don’t even bother to look for good Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek or New York style pizza. Looking for a trendy bistro, don’t bother. Hey, at least we have our choice of Mexican . . .

George B. Feist (DUKE) says:

Huh?…there are plenty of authentic places here…especially THAI…Thai Gem in Clovis, Thai Country….and whats up with Kristin and people like her…WAY OUT THERE IN CLOVIS…its only about 10 miles….well worth the drive if the food is good…like 50 miles to Elderberry House…or Sanger for the School House or Blossom Cafe in Sanger…

Kim says:

Virtually every person I took there really liked it. Almost every time I went also quiet busy. Last time I was there it was Packed, the bar and central portion was the lesbian group celebrating the Supreme Court decision and the other half was families etc. we had a surprise bday there and had 8 people in our party, newbies who enjoyed themselves. I too wished they had a location closed to home out on West shaw or Riverpark area, so I could have gone for dinner. I never enjoyed Indian food before them. I was introduced to them by Indian friends if mine.
I will admit the last 6-8 months the consistency of the dishes was lagging, but overall I loved it and was shocked and saddened to hear of its closing.

Steph says:

The food never disappointed ! The service was hit and miss, but my husband and I loved the place, was our favorite restaurant, we are very sad to hear of its closing.

Irene says:

I did enjoy the food at North India Bar and Grill. I’m not sure how much this advice is worth, since this place is already closed and I’ve never run a business, but the best thing you can do is get delicious pictures of food in front of hungry people who didn’t realize they wanted Indian food until they saw it. The photos on the website might have lured people in, if they were posted on billboards. Also, college campuses are great places to advertise because many of those kids are freshly out of the house and looking for new experiences. Some will try the food because it’s new, and some are dating and looking for a classy place to bring a date. Of course, all of this might have been out of the budget.

Gina Miller says:

Not sure what the real reasons are for closing. His restaurant was always packed. Too bad, I think the overhead has increased for everyone, and you don’;t dare increase the price than you chase customers away.

Rebecca says:

I loved this place and it always seemed to be full. However, the menu was CONSTANTLY changing – and not in a way that added a new or featured dish. It seemed like they never gave any set menu time to gain traction. We always enjoyed his restaurants in San Francisco and liked eating at this one.

He did have a point about chains. We have some really remarkable Italian and Mexican restaurants here in town, but Olive Garden and Chevys have lines on the the door every night. Fresno likes big name, big plate, high fat and generic.

Melissa says:

Wow. Just looked up the number to order take out. This just ruined my day. I was in LOVE with their chicken tikka masala. Best I’ve ever had. Wow. Really depressing. I live in Clovis, now where am supposed to go. :/

Rev. Tricia Lightfoot says:

I just heard tonight that North India closed. :-( I loved their food! I am an Indian food lover from way back and have been eating it since the 80s, and have been blessed to experience eating it in many different places all over the world. I do agree with whoever it was that commented on the overall feeling of being there. I agree that it did lack having a welcoming feeling and ambiance, but in my opinion the fresh, flavorful food was well worth overlooking that. I was always surprised that North India was all the way out in Clovis. In my opinion finding a more centrally located property would have been idea. Hope that they re-open another restaurant in the Tower district. WE LOVE THE TOWER! There your free to be yourself, and diversity is encouraged and celebrated.

Linda Hutchinson says:

The food was good, but overpriced. The place was lacking in atmosphere and the service was bad. Sorry to see anyone’s business go down, though. It’s always sad.

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