Friday, May 28, 2010

Opening Soon: Chai Shai

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM

fatcitychaishai_thumb_300x229.jpg
Chai Shai: a new tea and samosa shop near Brookside
The residents of the Rockhill Ridge neighborhood that surrounds the strip of shops at 59th and Holmes have been wondering for months what the new business in the eastern storefront was going to be. The sign said the upcoming business, Chai Shai, would offer Pakistani fare. But was it going to be a full-service restaurant? A tea house? A shop selling imported retail products?

"We get people coming in and asking us those questions every day," says Kashif Tufial, who will be running Chai Shai -- a combination retail shop, tea house and cafe -- with his brother Abdul. Both young men, who were raised in Kansas City, are full-time students. Kashif is a senior at UMKC studying environmental science; Abdul is a pharmacy and business major. Getting Chai Shai open is their summer project. Once the business is up and running, they'll have other family members working on day-to-day operations. Their mother, Aasma, will be running the kitchen.

 

fatcitytufialbrothers_thumb_300x168.jpg
Abdul, left, and Kashif Tufial
The Tufial brothers are not novices in the food business. For more than a decade they have been selling freshly made and frozen samosas -- traditional Indian and Pakistani street food, fried triangular pastries filled with vegetables or meats -- to local Indian markets. Chai Shai (the title is a play on words mixing Chai, the popular spiced milk tea with a nonsensical rhyming word) will serve those fresh samosas along with pakoras and other light fare such as a tandoori chicken wrap and pani puri. And Chai tea, fresh lemonade and a cool beverage made with a fragrant rosewater syrup. No, it won't be a full-service restaurant -- at least not at first, says, Kashif, but maybe later. There will be nightly dinner specials, though. 

Chai Shai will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. But exactly when will it open? "We've been telling everyone in the neighborhood that we'll be open in two to three weeks for the last two to three weeks," laughs Abdul. "But once we pass all our inspections, we'll be ready to open."

Since the Tufial's sister, Bazigna, runs an import-export business, Chai Shai will feature a selection of Pakistani-made fashion accessories, and some shelves are already arranged with shoes and jewelry. This week the Tufial brothers also decided that, because UMKC has such a large community of Indian and Pakistani students, to sell cooking staples like basmati rice, spices and imported non-alcoholic beverages.

"What surprised us is that so many people in this neighborhood, who are not Indian or from Pakistan, are interested in buying these items too. So many people stop in to see how the place is coming along and to offer suggestions and ideas," says Kashif.

The brothers are hoping that Chai Shai will become a neighborhood gathering spot, particularly on weekends when they begin serving teas and cafe fare at 11 a.m. "We want to expose people to our culture," said Kashif. "And create the kind of neighborhood cafe that's very common in Pakistan."


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in The Fast Pitch

More by Charles Ferruzza

Most Popular Stories

Slideshows

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation