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An Expansion-Hungry Indian Chain Should Debut its Lakeview Location Next Week
Bombay Wraps’ new restaurant could open on Monday as ownership plans for many more
Bombay Wraps, the fast-casual Indian chain with locations in the Loop and Streeterville, should open a third location next week. The owners used data from a variety of delivery partners — including GrubHub — which showed that Lakeview is supposedly full of customers who order a lot of Indian food. With that mind, the owners of Bombay Wraps plan on opening a new location next week at 3149 1/2 N. Broadway Street.
If a Thursday inspection goes well, it could open on Monday. For the first month, ownership will focus on evenings but will eventually add afternoon lunch hours. They opened their first restaurant on Wells Street eight years ago and have tweaked the menu since. The service is meant to emulate the quick, fresh meals the husband-and-wife team of Bombay Wraps managing partner Ali Dewjee and CFO Falguni Dewjee would buy from Mumbai street vendors. They’ve employed the assembly line formula where customers can see their paratha wraps, rice bowls, and salads prepared in front of them. That helps demystify Indian food for those not familiar with the flavors.
“When we were starting, we wanted to make the food accessible for people who may not be familiar,” Ali Dewjee said. “That’s been kind of the journey.”
That journey should continue even after the Lakeview location opens. Dewjee envisions eventually opening eight locations. He mentioned Chicago neighborhoods such as Bucktown/Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and Hyde Park, and even suburban locations in Evanston, Schaumburg, and Naperville.
The Lakeview location, just south of the Belmont and Broadway intersection, is a former dry cleaners. They’ve gutted the space and there’s room for about 12 seats. There’s an emphasis on carry out and delivery. The best place to enjoy Bombay Wraps’ food may be on a customer’s couch.
“I’d rather be a Netflix than a Blockbuster,” Dewjee said of the evolving way customers enjoy their food.
Bombay Wraps gives customers a choice between shredded lamb, paneer, chicken tikka, and beef. Beef was a “no no” back in 2010 when most of the customer base was Indian and attached to the Hindu belief that cows are holy. But as different customers began discovering the restaurant, they decided to expand the menu and add a beef kebob. There’s vegan and vegetarian options, too.
The Dejees have ambitious expansion plans. Check back for an official opening date for Lakeview.