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NW 21st's Indish Transitioning into Cocktail/Whisky Lounge

Eater confirms: Nob Hill's two-year-old, not-your-average Indian restaurant Indish will cease operations immediately, as owner Raj Sharma readies the space to transition into the Temple Bar, a cocktail lounge with a heavy emphasis on whisky, gin, and both English and local beers.

"The problem with the Indian restaurant is that it's [perceived as] one thing, from one place, representing a continent's worth of cuisines that have been there for thousands of years," owner Raj Scharma tells Eater. "It precludes doing much else with it. It's a difficult sell." The new Temple Bar — named for what was once the westernmost gate in the city of London — will "focus more on classic cocktails — and whiskey in particular," Sharma says, in a more relaxed, lounge-like atmosphere (those cushy Indish couches will stay put).

"And we're having some fun with the food," Sharma continues. "There will be a handful of dishes that'll stay from the old menu to the new. It's not a guillotine of a change, it just opens up our possibilities." Expect eight to nine entree options, a "more robust" happy hour, and an extended appetizer/finger food menu extending beyond the Indian label ("Things like bacon, for example, were hard to put on an 'Indian' menu," Sharma says. It'll be available in some upcoming dishes).

"We're interested in food more than we're interested in being ascribed as anything in particular," Sharma says. The Temple Bar is on scheduled to be open sometime early next week.
· Indish Restaurant [Official site]

The Temple Bar

305 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR