Aroma Indian Cuisine opened its doors at 9429 Lorton Market St. last week, and returned Indian food to its proper place as a staple of the Lorton diet.
"It's been a week and things are coming along," said manager Ben Mukherjee from behind the newly renovated bar area. "We were swamped on Saturday. There was a line going out the door."
Aroma, which has two other locations in the D.C. metro area, took over the short-lived Mexican restaurant Pasilla, which used to be an Indian food restaurant. "I've been in this business for 18 years and I have never seen anything this positive from a community. On Saturday, when people finished their food they actually waved down our servers so they could get their checks and let more people come in and get a seat."
The 75-seater restaurant is still hiring for part-time servers, bussers and a hostess. "But we want people with experience, who have passion," said Mukherjee. "If you take that passion with you in your work you will automatically do well and customers will return."
Aroma owner Daljeet Singh hails from New Delhi and worked as the manager of Bombay Palace for 10 years. Singh opened Aroma in D.C. in 1993, and the Shirlington location opened nine years later. The company is also an authorized vendor at high-profile hotels, and plans are in the works to make meals for international airline companies.
In two weeks, Aroma will begin free delivery within a three-mile radius. The restaurant's grand opening will be held mid-May.