This fall, an Indian takeout restaurant is expected to take over the old Avenue Bistro site in Mt. Airy.
Husband-and-wife duo Vijai and Jyoti Gupta are gearing up for the unveiling of JYOTI Indian Bistro at the corner of Germantown Avenue and West Nippon Street.
For the past 30 years, the couple has operated JYOTI Natural Foods, a prepared foods company whose cuisine is available on store shelves and high in the sky as in-flight meals for a handful of airline companies.
Whole Foods Market and Weavers Way Co-op have carried the brand for years. Delta, Continental and British Airways are perhaps the company’s most prominent airline clientele.
The same dishes – Saag Paneer, Butter Chicken, and Chana Masala, among others – will be served daily inside the 1,000-square-foot restaurant, the pair’s first.
The food will not lack spice, but won’t be heavy on heat either. The flavor profile represents a conscious effort to mirror authentic, home cooking in India.
“There is a misconception among people that Indian food is very hot. That is not the case,” said Vijai.
Most menu items will be prepared inside the company’s 50,000 square-foot factory in Sharon Hill, Pa. north of the Philadelphia International Airport then delivered to Mt. Airy. A few items, such as kebabs and the restaurant’s rotating bread options, will be cooked on-site.
As a result, customers won’t wait long for the restaurant’s four component meals. Lunch and dinner orders will typically include a vegetable dish, a meat or bean dish, rice and some kind of Indian bread.
Takeout customers can either head home or sit at a table inside. Some items will also be available in refrigerated shelves for those needing a grab-and-go option.
The Gupta’s chose Mt. Airy after their son, Anuj, suggested it might be a good fit for the venture. Anuj lives in the neighborhood and heads Mt. Airy USA, a community development corporation.
Jyoti, who runs the company’s day-to-day operations, said she’s looking forward to being part of a community that she regularly visits.
“I will enjoy being the in the community very much,” she said. “That socializing part, I will enjoy.”
Vijai said the restaurant operate between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sundays will be half days.
While the building is still being renovated, the couple expects the restaurant to be open sometime in September.
In the meantime, would-be customers can get a taste of what’s to come at upcoming Night Market on Germantown Avenue on Aug. 16. The Food Trust-led event brought thousands to the neighborhood’s commercial corridor last year.