/Wednesday, June 2, 2021 COVID-19 update

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 COVID-19 update

Chai Corner opened yesterday at 1212 E. Apache Blvd. The debut of the space could not have happened this year without the help of Todd Graves, founder of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, and the new Food Network show Restaurant Recovery

Restaurant Recovery helps local restauranteurs who are struggling by providing creative ideas and hands-on renovations to bring the restaurants back to their former glory. Tempe’s longstanding Curry Corner received a boost from the show, which airs this week on Food Network. The episode may also be viewed on Discovery+. 

Farah and Omar Khalid have operated Curry Corner for more than 20 years in Tempe. When ASU went virtual last year, the results were devastating for the Apache Boulevard restaurant, located literally across the street from hundreds of student apartments that went from bursting with people to empty. 

Staff was let go. Expensive delivery services like Grub Hub and Uber Eats ate any profits that might have been made from orders and the second space that the Khalids had bought and been trying to open as a chai cafe remained a dream unfulfilled. 

Until Restaurant Recovery stepped in. The crew outfitted the second space with all the modern gear needed to open Chai Corner, a place for tea drinks and lighter fare, and even gave them a branded delivery car to reduce those delivery fees. Comedian Rob Schneider and football player DeAndre Hopkins helped with the effort. 

“Todd Graves was amazing,” Omar Khalid said. “We can’t thank him and the crew enough.”