East India Café opening in former Pagoda spot in Salt Lake City

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East India Café is scheduled to open on March 13 in the former Pagoda restaurant at 26 E St., located in the Avenues neighborhood in Salt Lake City.

The restaurant's name is inspired by the original East India Trading Company, which set sail in search of silk and spices. The café will feature a warm, welcoming ambiance with rich mahogany accents set in the 1920s British-India era.

An open house with afternoon tea and snacks will be open for public on from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on March 13. Dinner service will be available.

Quite different in décor from its cousin Saffron Valley Indian Street Foods in South Jordan, the East India Café brings back memories of a bygone era. The building, more than 40 years old, lends a distinctive charm to the café with its quirky imperfections and character.

Menu selections include street foods, dosas, biryanis, kebabs, curries and tandoor baked pizza. The everyday express lunch special menu offered between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. is designed to be a quick in-and-out affair, for $8.99.

"We are excited to bring Saffron Valley to downtown Salt Lake City and the Avenues," said Lavanya Mahate, owner of Saffron Group. "It will be an ideal eatery for our guests, people who enjoy healthy, fresh and flavorsome Indian while providing the community with a new restaurant that celebrates diversity."

Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.