The renovated interior at Cuisine of India following a winter fire which caused extensive damage.

The renovated interior at Cuisine of India following a winter fire which caused extensive damage.

New interior, same popular menu following fire

It’s back to business at Cuisine of India after five months of renovations due to a fire that ravaged the restaurant in December.

It’s back to business at Cuisine of India after five months of renovations due to a fire that ravaged the restaurant in December.

“It’s been very busy ever since we opened [in 2004] and it’s been busier since we re-opened (in early May),” said Pam Uppal, who owns the restaurant with husband Ajay.

On Dec. 1, an electrical short caused the basement to go up in flames after hours, with fire and smoke damage totalling close to $100,000.

Uppal said they were forced to replace virtually the entire interior of the restaurant.

“We had to upgrade everything,” she said. “We had no choice.”

What has made the restoration time worth it, however, is the community, she said.

“We’re really happy things are back to normal now,” she said. “The main thing is the community. They’ve been so supportive.”

As one of the few Indian restaurants in the West Kootenay, Uppal said they have regular customers from Castlegar as well as Nelson, Trail and Rossland.

During the five months off, she said she and the staff had some trouble dealing with not coming to work at the restaurant every day.

“People missed us and we missed working here too,” she said of herself and the three other staff members. “We were going through the same [withdrawal].”

Cuisine of India, located at 908 Columbia Ave., has been in the same location since opening seven years ago. Uppal said they’ll continue doing business they way they’ve done since the beginning.

“We stick with what people like,” she said. “Same food, same cook, same everything.”

The restaurant offers a lunch buffet Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open for dinner daily until 9 p.m.

Uppal said as devastating as the fire was, they were encouraged to reopen as soon as possible because of the community.

“We love being here and we look forward to serving them for years and years,” she said. “Small town is our home. We’re like a family.”