Garland chef and James Beard award finalist Cheetie Kumar

The hits just keep on coming. 

On the same day Durham institution St. James announced it’s closing its doors due to the termination of its lease, Triangle institution Garland announced it’s closing its doors in its current space at 14 West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh as well. And Garland’s closure will be imminent, with the restaurant’s last day of regular service coming just 10 days from now, on August 27.

“Operating on Martin Street for more than a decade and being an important part of Downtown Raleigh has brought us more joy and fulfillment than we could have dreamed,” owners Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler wrote in a press release. “We have evolved over this time and feel so proud of becoming a part of this community.”

The couple’s press release says that operating through the pandemic over the last two years has shown them “the potential of this amazing space and we look forward to ushering in its reinvention.

“Our priority has always been to take care of our incredible staff, the many local purveyors, and our guests who we have had the pleasure of welcoming into our spaces,” the statement continues. “We will continue to be dedicated to our local foodways, a healthier food and beverage industry, the arts, and our community in our next incarnation(s).”

But there’s exciting news on the horizon, too. 

“Our next project will be a partnership with Anisette Sweet Shop on Bickett Blvd,” Kumar and Siler wrote in the press release. “Once construction is complete, their bakery/coffee shop will be back in operation, and we will be unveiling our collaborative full concept later this winter/early 2023.”

Garland has operated in the Martin Street space since 2013, which it shares with music club Kings and basement cocktail bar Neptunes (both opened in 2010). 

For Garland’s Indian-Asian cuisine with a Southern twist, using ingredients sourced from local farmers markets and family farms, Kumar was a James Beard award semifinalist for Best Chefs in America for three years running, in 2017, 2018, and 2019, as well as a finalist for Best Chef: Southeast in 2020 and in 2022. Before and after opening Garland, Kumar played guitar in the band Birds of Avalon with husband and business partner Siler, an artist who works in a variety of mediums and who brought the vision for the couple’s food, cocktail, and music venues alive.  

The social media post says to “stay tuned for updates on pop-up dinners, shows and other events at Martin Street in the near future.”

This sounds promising—for now, Kumar and Siler aren’t leaving the Martin Street space they own altogether, and they say they’ll share more details on their next chapter soon. But downtown Raleigh without Garland will be a different downtown Raleigh indeed. 

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