Hut-K's Heartfelt Farewell
And other marketplace closings
From the August, 2018 issue
In early July, Sumi and Swaroop Bhojani said a final goodbye to customers of Hut-K Chaats with a benefit dinner for the Cobblestone Farm Market. Though they had planned the closing for several months, Swaroop says that didn't make their last evening any easier. "I was very emotional," he says. "About to cry."
The Bhojanis made the difficult decision to close after Swaroop's father was diagnosed with dementia. A former oncology researcher, Swaroop had used the restaurant at Packard and Platt to develop innovative, heart-healthy versions of Indian street food. He says he's now working on a book of those recipes and others he developed for Back2Roots, his white-tablecloth vegan venture on Main St. that closed in 2016. He's also helping to develop the menu at Back2Roots' successor, First Bite, and writing a book, about "the human body as a machine."
He says Sumi, a former Montessori teacher, will go back to focusing on education--"her passion," he says.
The Bhojanis have sold the restaurant to a new owner, yet unnamed, who they say will carry on the chaats idea and add a selection of "Indian-flavored" ice creams like pistachio and mango.
"The Ann Arbor community has been amazing," he says. "I remember when we first had the restaurant, people brought us flowers from their gardens, fruit, vegetables ... I just want to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart--our heart."
[Originally published in August, 2018.]
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