Minar Palace’s quarter-century run in Center City — not an easy one, at that — appears to have ended.
The Indian BYOB at 1304 Walnut St. closed in December as founder Tarsem Singh traveled to his father’s funeral in India. The timing, explains Tarsem Singh’s son Daz, was unfortunate, as the restaurant’s 10-year lease was winding down.
Daz Singh said his father balked at the new, more expensive rent. The Singhs, under lease through February, have chosen to clear out their possessions. They may resurface the restaurant elsewhere, Daz Singh said.
The Singhs opened Minar Palace at 1605 Sansom St. in 1991, racking up impressive word-of-mouth in that pre-Internet age for sublime food at bargain prices. It was nothing fancy — more a takeout initially with paper plates and plastic cutlery — that served budget-conscious office workers.
But then in 2000 came the wrecking ball as a developer razed the building adjacent to Minar Palace. He tried to force out the Singhs, who had six years left on the lease.
In mid-2006, they left. The old Minar site is now a day spa attached to The Sansom, whose tenants down the block also include Dizengoff and Abe Fisher.
In 2008, the Singhs resurfaced four blocks away at 13th and Walnut, gutting a down-and-out video store into an attractive restaurant.