Denver's Bombay Bowl gets a huge shout-out in the New York Times

Lori Midson
Denver's Bombay Bowl is just one of several fast-casual Indian restaurants in the country that's cashing in on its success.
In the two days since Bombay Bowl, Denver's only fast-casual Indian restaurant, was featured prominently in the dining section of the New York Times, owner Amar Singh has been inundated with franchising offers from all over the globe.

"It's been absolutely insane," says Singh, who's fielded more than 200 e-mails and phone calls from as far as away as Jordan. "We're getting franchising requests from all over the world, including the U.K., Jordan, Wisconsin, Canada and India."

The New York Times feature, penned by John Edge, who was in Denver two weeks ago as part of a cartel of food critics and writers doing restaurant research for the James Beard Foundation Awards, suggests that there's a mainstream market need for fast-casual joints beyond Chipotle. And Singh agrees. "There's definitely a gap in the market for fast-casual Indian food," admits Singh. "We're bombarded with fast-casual Asian and Mexican places, but there aren't many Indian counterparts."

Indian buffets, he concedes, have been around for years, but when he unleashed his first Bombay Bowl several years ago in Centennial, which he later shuttered before opening a central Denver location last year, Singh had two goals: "I wanted to educate people who weren't familiar with Indian food at all, and I also wanted to to educate those who only equated Indian food with buffets and fast food," he says, noting, too, that it was a challenge to convince skeptics that Indian cuisine is healthy. "We absolutely offer healthy lunch and dinner options, including a lot of vegetables, which is important to our customers -- and what they want is key."

And so is expansion. But while Singh is thrilled that his restaurant is generating so much attention from here, there and everywhere, he's concentrating on keeping Bombay Bowl local. "I've been looking for other spaces in Denver and Boulder for the last six months, but it's difficult to find a location that's conducive to a small, fast-casual concept," he says. Not that he's stopped searching. "This year is all about growth for us, and we're ready to go just as soon as we find a space."

And the phone stops ringing.

Location Info

Bombay Bowl

575 Lincoln St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
shockedandsaddened
shockedandsaddened

Tonight my boyfriend and I went in to Bombay Bowl for take out with his service dog who provides seizure alert duties for him. We have been into Bombay Bowl on many occasions and have never had a problem. Tonight we went in and were discriminated against by the manager Robert. I encourage people to urge this restaurant to not discriminate against persons with disabilities. Here is an e-mail I wrote to the owner. I am hoping I get a response. "Hello, I am writing to advise of of a situation that occurred tonight around 9:10pm at Bombay Bowl. I am considering reporting this to the ADA as your manager Robert showed gross and unapologetic discrimination against my boyfriend. First, I was hoping to talk to the owner and come to an understanding in regards to this situation. While I did get upset during this situation, I did not curse at him and just wanted him to take accountability for the fact that he did not know what he was talking about. He instead kept insisting I was wrong and that we were lying.

We entered to get food that we planned on taking home. I went first in line and the female employee helped me. I had informed her upon entering that the dog accompanying my boyfriend was a service dog and she made no problem of it. Your "Manager" Robert however was in the process of serving my boyfriend but refused to take his order as he was busy interrogating him. He was asking for paperwork for the service dog, which is illegal. He repeatedly asked him to the point that I could tell me boyfriend was uncomfortable. He continued asking for paperwork and might as well have said "I think you are lying and should leave". When I stepped in to advise him of his legal rights to questioning and the law, he continued his interrogation with comments that included "Well, anyone can get a service dog patch and put it on there" and "What if someone is allergic to the dog?" Both of these arguments are invalid and are seen as discrimination. I told him that by law he is only allowed to ask two questions. #1: Is that a service dog. #2: What tasks does it perform? That is it. Anything beyond that is blatant discrimination and a violation of the law. Your manager ignorantly stood by his line of questioning and told me I was wrong and that he knew what he was talking about and was within legal parameters of questioning. Here is why he was wrong: "Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person’s disability". This is language from the ADA's website: http://www.ada.gov/svcabrpt.pd.... Robert was acting like he was an officer of the law, adamantly and ignorantly demanding paperwork he is not allowed to ask for. Basically, I feel that he as a manager should be up to date regarding any laws pertaining to your business. He honestly is a liability to your company as the owner could be sued for this incident. We are not litigious people looking to sue however. I just want to make sure this doesn't happen again and that your so called manager is reprimanded for his actions that showed gross discrimination. My boyfriend has seizures and the dog provides seizure alert services to him, including alerting and protecting him during a seizure. This classification of dog is completely within the parameters of what is allowed by law and you as a business are responsible for knowing this and making sure people are treated fairly. Despite the fact that Robert had doubts and essentially insisted we were lying, he is not allowed to express his ignorant opinions in the form of discrimination. I am very disappointed that this happened as we were regular customers and had brought the service dog in multiple times with no incidents. This was our first interaction with Robert and it was frankly traumatizing and belittling. I am sad to say that I will no longer support a business that hires managers who discriminate against persons with disabilities and give them nothing but attitude and doubt. I loved Bombay Bowl for the quality of the food, the fact that it is a small business, the vegetarian options and the usual friendly staff I will no longer introduce people to this restaurant but instead provide a different narrative in the form of this experience. Here is the law and I would like you to share it with all of your employees, especially Robert. I have also attached a PDF file advising businesses of their rights in regards to service animals. The following is pulled from the ADA's website (http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.ht... "Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person's disability." This is important because, and I quote, "Violators of the ADA can be required to pay money damages and penalties". Also, "Allergies and fear of animals are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service" which is another one of the tactics Robert was using to argue with us.

I think this is very valid considering that your "Manager" Robert still insisted he was right even after I informed him that he was violating the law regarding service animals. If you have more questions in regards to the ADA law as it pertains to service animals, see Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Service Dogs: http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

I am hoping to actually speak to the owner and not just write this e-mail. This is the only way Robert gave me to get a hold of you."  

Mick Bizzo
Mick Bizzo

Great place. Singh is one of the nicest restaurant owners I've ever met. I hope to see more Bombay Bowls around Denver.

Lmoller63
Lmoller63

Please, please come to Boulder!!!

Scott
Scott

I was surprised at how good this place was.

mateo
mateo

fantastic food with great customer service.  i work across the street from one of the locations and everyone is always pleasant in there and i've always had great fresh food.  

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