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James Beard-Nominated Chef Joins Charlotte Food Hall With Popular Indian Restaurant

Emily Schultz
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Asheville-based chef Meherwan Irani (also of Chai Pani Restaurant Group fame) will bring a third location of Indian street food restaurant Botiwalla to Charlotte, NC. The new outpost will be part of forthcoming multi-use complex Optimist Hall.

Rolling out early this summer, Optimist Hall is a 147,000-square-foot redevelopment of an old fabric mill. The space will be home to a food hall, retail, restaurants, and the Duke Energy Innovation Center.

Botiwalla will be the first restaurant tenant for Optimist Hall, with an opening date set around fall. The new location from the James Beard-nominated chef will offer tandoori and kebab wraps, Desi salad, lamb burgers, chaat, and other foods inspired by tea and kabab houses of India. The restaurant will also feature boozy slushies and afternoon high tea.

In 2018, Irani told Eater Atlanta that he wanted to expand the concept to up to 50 locations. He wanted to open something fast, fun, approachable, and affordable without being a full, sit-down, “chef-driven” restaurant like his Decatur and Asheville-based Chai Panis.

Perhaps one will stop in Charleston next?

Botiwalla [Official]
Optimist Hall [Official]
Meherwan Irani Plans to Expand Indian Street Food Empire [EATL]