At 7,200 square feet, Indique Heights is just too much restaurant for co-owners Surfy Rahman and K.N. Vinod. The duo are working with their landlord and a pair of architects to downsize the eight-year-old Chevy Chase establishment into something less than half its present size.
Starting July 19, the owners will close the Indian restaurant to allow crews to gut the space and carve out smaller properties. Rahman said the work will take at least four months. The final plans remain up in the air, Rahman said, save for the bar, which will move to the front of the space. The renovated Indique Heights will be at least 2,400 square feet, but could swell to more than 3,000 square feet if architects incorporate some of the outdoor terrace into the final design, the owner said.
"It's going to be less traditional than what Indique Heights was," Rahman says. "It's going to be a little more contemporary."
"It will still have an Indian feel, but a little less than what it has now," he adds.
The renovations come as Rahman and Vinod approached the end of their lease. Rahman says he and his business partner have not yet signed a new lease, since the rent will be determined in part by the final design and other considerations, such as landlord contributions. But he says he's confident that a deal will get done.
During construction, some employees will be absorbed into Rahman and Vinod's other properties, Indique in Cleveland Park and Bombay Bistro in Rockville. Some will take a long vacation to India, and some will just move on. Both Indique Heights chefs, Sivaraman Balamurugan and Abraham Varghese, will remain with the restaurant.
The Indique Heights catering business will move its operational base to Bombay Bistro and continue as normal, Rahman says.