Srinivasa Nimmagadda, the owner behind a new restaurant opening this fall at the State Farm building in Dunwoody, wants to make Indian cuisine more “mainstream” by following the model of “healthy and approachable” fast casual chains like Chipotle.
With ten locations planned for the Atlanta area in the next year, Nimmagadda’s ultimate goal is to franchise and take Sankranti (“positive change”) national.
“We are trying to reach American diners who are ready to try something new,” Nimmagadda says in a press release. “Our menu encourages exploration and offers a taste of India without having to travel.”
Nimmagadda, who owns a Johns Creek Indian restaurant and banquet hall also called Sankranti, hopes to continue filling the “void of Indian food offerings” in the fast casual restaurant market with this more laid-back version of Sankranti, serving a menu encompassing dishes from both the northern and southern regions of India. Expect build-your-own curry bowls, kathi rolls, pulao, and kabobs, along with snacks like samosas on the menu here assembled while ordering at the counter, much like Chipotle. People can choose their proteins, too, including tikka chicken, malai chicken and lamb, paneer tikka masala, and mixed vegetable kurma.
Once open, Sankranti will seat 30 people inside and outside on the patio. Sankranti will become part of a restaurant resurgence currently happening in the Perimeter Center area.
Thai-Chinese restaurant Yao opened in August along Perimeter Center Parkway. Yao, owned by Jakkrit Tuanphakdee and Adidsara Weerasin of Tum Pok Pok, is an elegant, multi-level restaurant serving dishes inspired by Bangkok’s Chinatown. A second Atlanta-area location of Iron Hill Brewery and brewpub also opened this summer on Hammond Drive near Perimeter Mall.
Expected to open in 2023, Chicago-based indoor mini golf bar and restaurant Puttshack opens its second Atlanta-area location at the forthcoming High Street development at the intersection of Perimeter Center Parkway and Hammond Drive. The 36-acre development incorporates ten city blocks and will eventually include a variety of retail shops and restaurants, along with a number of offices and 600 luxury apartments.
Sankranti joins three other recently opened fast-casual Indian restaurants around Atlanta this year.
Earlier this summer, Bhojanic chef Archna Becker opened a second location of Tandoori Pizza and Wing Co. at food hall Politan Row at Colony Square. The stall serves margherita and vegetarian naan pizzas, tandoori-marinated wings, chickpea-battered potato wedges, and samosas. In August, chef and Food Network personality Palak Patel opened vegan Indian street food stall Dash and Chutney at Chattahoochee Food Works. That stall offers vegan takes on samosa chaat and sev papdi chaat on the menu, along with vada pav (potato slider) and street snacks like charred corn and hanvo (savory muffin with lentils).
San Francisco-based chain Curry Up Now includes two Atlanta locations in North Decatur and now in the Reynoldstown neighborhood, serving a variety of biryani and thali platters as well as takes on tikka masala, chicken or paneer naan, and Sexy Fries, a variant of poutine made with sweet potatoes.
237 Perimeter Center Parkway NE, Dunwoody. sankranti.com.