Burnsville's best-known Indian restaurant will soon get a significant facelift. India Palace has successfully petitioned the city to add on a a banquet center with a dance floor.
The restaurant at the corner of County Road 5 and County Road 42 currently occupies 3,400 square feet. The plan calls for a 2,758 square foot addition, which would almost double the building's footprint and add another 100 seats. Right now, the restaurant has just 80 seats.
The request was met with enthusiasm at city hall.
"We've got a successful business we'd like to keep them in Burnsville, keep them growing," said City Planner Chris Slania at a Planning Commission meeting in December. "This is a very positive project."
"Anytime we have expansion, especially in the (County Road) 42 area we should support it wholeheartedly. This seems like it's a great benefit to the city," added John Corey, vice-chair of the Planning Commission.
There was just one small catch: The city asked that India Palace also add a more discreet trash enclosure with a roof and opaque walls.
With these conditions, the Planning Commission gave the plan its approval. The request sailed through city council two weeks later.
The building at 1905 CR 42 has gone through a number of incarnations since it was built in 1995. It was originally a Boston Market, then a HoneyBaked Ham store. After 2007, there was talk of it becoming a Starbucks, but the plan fell through.
The property was sold to Bidhipur Properties Investment in 2010 for $905,200, according to Minnesota Real Estate Journal. It is one of four India Palace locations scattered throughout the Twin Cities: Other sites include Roseville, Plymouth, and Woodbury.
Owner Balbir Singh said that business has been brisk, in spite of the lackluster national economy.
"We've been doing a lot of catering for weddings, graduation parties and birthdays," Singh said. "We'll have a lot more room, and of course, we'll make more money."
Singh said that construction would begin in April. It will take about five to six months to complete, he said. He added that the restaurant would need more workers to staff the hall, and would begin hiring soon.
Bruce Knutson Architects of Golden Valley designed the addition.