Advertisement
  • Abbott House
  • You Can Be in a Hud Indy Ad Too
Business News
Community News
Local News

Tarrytown’s Swagat to Permanently Shutter by Year’s End 

• Bookmarks: 123


December 22, 2021

By W.B. King

This New Year’s Eve will be bittersweet for Swagat Halal Indian Cuisine’s owners, employees and patrons. The beloved Tarrytown eatery will begrudgingly serve its last meals after nearly 11 years in operation.

“I am announcing very sadly that I am closing the restaurant permanently due to expired lease,” noted owner Humayun Khan.

Advertisement
  • LOOK Cinemas Dobbs Ferry
  • LOOK Cinemas Dobbs Ferry
  • Advertise in The Hudson Independent - Westchester Rivertown's community news

News first broke of the restaurant possibly closing in July 2020. At the time, The Hudson Independent reported that the building the restaurant currently operates in at 19 North Broadway in Tarrytown, which is also home to The Tapp, was purchased in late 2019 by Katonah Property Management Corporation.

The company’s chairman Bill Celaj said in August 2020 that “Mr. Kahn never opted to exercise his lease extension and basically told us that business wasn’t going well.” Celaj further explained that he and his partners hired a real estate appraiser who arrived at a rental price increase, which he called “fair market value.”

In late December 2021, a representative from Katonah Property Management Corporation said Celaj wouldn’t comment on the ongoing lease issue and is no longer a part owner in the building. This admission was confirmed by Kahn, who said that Nick Krasniqi, owner of Mr. Nick’s Brick Oven Pizza located at 21 North Broadway, now owns the building with a partner.

While Krasniqi was contacted for comment, a response regarding the future of the space currently occupied by Swagat was not received by deadline.

“I think he is planning to do a restaurant,” Kahn said, speculating that Krasniqi may expand his footprint into the adjacent soon-to-be vacated space. This move would end a longstanding history of Indian cuisine served at 19 North Broadway. Prior to Swagat, Café Tandoor was in operation.

Tragic Pandemic Tales

On the issue of “business not going well,” Khan said he agreed with Celaj’s 2020 assessment, which carried into 2021. The pandemic stifled operations and the virus sadly claimed the life of Kahn’s “best friend, partner and cousin,” Mohammed Abdul Baten who most patrons remember as the restaurant’s manager, always greeting diners with his signature, effusive smile.

Baten, Kahn added, was “tough” when it came to business and was responsible for Swagat’s reputation, which earned many loyal customers and coverage in publications, including The New York Times.

Kahn and Celaj’s disagreement centered on lease terms. According to Kahn, he was initially offered a five-year lease at approximately twice the monthly rate of his expired 10-year lease. Not satisfied with this arrangement, Khan took the dispute to court.

“After Mohammed’s death and COVID-19, I requested that landlord give me some credit for rent and to help me restart the restaurant. But the landlord disagreed,” Kahn said. “To reopen, I went to court for rent credit and paid more than $15,000 for lawyers.”

While Kahn received a one-year lease extension from the judge, he was still losing nearly $5,000 per month in overhead costs. The ongoing issues related to the pandemic and the proposed rental increase was simply too much to bear, he said.

“My family took pleasure in providing authentic Indian food for the region and was hoping to do so for many years,” Kahn said. “My cousin Mohammed gave his best effort to serve our customers and neighbors,” he added of Baten, who died at age 63 in March 2020 and is survived by his wife and six daughters.

Last Supper

Patrons seeking favorite dishes like lamb korma, keema dosa, tandoori chicken and paneer tiki masala, among other delicacies, have until December 31, 2021 to place their orders.

While Kahn didn’t indicate that Swagat would reopen in another location, he was nostalgic about the success the restaurant achieved.

“I tried very hard to restart and run the restaurant. I am leaving Tarrytown, but Tarrytown is not leaving my heart,” Kahn said. “Thanks to the community who help us to do business directly or indirectly.”

 

Advertisement
Andrea Martone - real estate in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and the Rivertowns

‘Mondaire, We Hardly Knew Ye’

By Barrett Seaman— After two years of political wrangling over the disposition of New York State’s political districts, a court-appointed...
Read More

Sleepy Hollow Boards Wrestle With Proposed Zoning Changes

By Barrett Seaman-- When a Sleepy Hollow resident voiced concern that the village’s plan to “repeal and replace” the zoning...
Read More

Local School Budgets Approved Easily

By Rick Pezzullo--- On Tuesday, May 17, voters in local school districts overwhelmingly approved budgets for the 2022-2023 calendar. In...
Read More

Flags Become a Flashpoint in Local Culture Wars

By Barrett Seaman-- Every now and again, tensions rise to the surface between the rivertowns’ uniformed police and firefighters on...
Read More

Pro-Choice Rally Draws 400 to Tarrytown’s Patriots Park

By Barrett Seaman— A line-up of Pro-Choice activists and their political allies stirred a crowd of several hundred sign-bearing residents...
Read More

Local Cars Being Stolen Right Out of Residential Driveways

By Barrett Seaman— Car thieves are back in the rivertowns. Actually, they never really went away, but reports of brazen...
Read More

Retired Teacher to Open Socially Conscious Coffee Shop in SH

By Rick Pezzullo--- For 35 years, Kim Kaczmarek worked as a special education teacher at Sleepy Hollow High School. Now...
Read More

Gullotta House Provides Aid to Westchester Families in Need

The Gullotta House was founded in 2015 for the charitable purpose of helping Westchester families in need, regardless of income. ...
Read More

Sleepy Hollow Student-Athletes Look to the Future

By Tom Pedulla-- To attend Sleepy Hollow’s recent college signing ceremony was to peer into the future. A bright future....
Read More

Mercy College Adjuncts Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract

By Jeff Wilson-- The fight for higher wages for adjunct instructors at Mercy College was finally resolved on Tuesday, May...
Read More
123 recommended
2881 views
bookmark icon