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The Garner Char-Grill is gone, but a downtown Raleigh Indian restaurant has taken its place.

Chhote's

The seemingly unthinkable has happened: a Char-Grill has closed.

The Garner Char-Grill near the White Oak shopping center closed earlier this month, but already has been replaced by Indian street food restaurant Chhote’s.

If that name sounds familiar, this is the second location for Chhote’s. It’s first location is in Transfer Co. Food Hall in downtown Raleigh.

Thomassina Boya owned and operated the Garner Char-Grill for a decade, situated within the White Oak development, not far from Interstate 40 and the Johnston County Line. An official from Char-Grill said when it came time to renew the franchise agreement, Boya, who owns the building, chose to instead welcome in a new concept.

That new restaurant is Chhote’s, owned by Andes Fernandes, who also owns the popular Biryani Maxx. (News & Observer dining critic Greg Cox calls Biryani Maxx the best traditional Indian restaurant in the Triangle.)

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The Garner Chhote’s is in its soft opening phase, Fernandes told The News & Observer, with a grand opening expected next month. The menu is the same as the downtown Raleigh location, focusing on Mumbai street food, with snacks like bison momo, a Himalayan dumpling, and classic dishes like chicken tikka masala.

“We wanted to show that Indian food can be all about flavors, not all about spice,” Fernandes said in a phone interview.

He said they picked Garner for a second location because of the town’s limited Indian options. The upcoming Amazon distribution center and its 1,500 jobs also could bring more customers, he said.

“We thought it would be a good location for us, there are a lot of different types of restaurants, but I think it’s missing an Indian restaurant,” Fernandes said. “We need the support of the community.”

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.
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