Anita and Randy Madhar, owners of the recently reopened Kuku’s Restaurant in Saanich, are pleased to welcome customers back for home-cooked Indian meals and desserts. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Anita and Randy Madhar, owners of the recently reopened Kuku’s Restaurant in Saanich, are pleased to welcome customers back for home-cooked Indian meals and desserts. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Indian restaurant reopens more than a year after SUV driver crashed through the building

Kuku’s Restaurant happy to see customers again, enjoys modern touches of renovation

With its bustling kitchen, sleek dining counter and line up of masked customers awaiting meals, you’d never know an SUV crash reduced Kuku’s Restaurant to rubble just over a year ago.

On Thursday (Dec. 10) afternoon, owner Randy Madhar and his wife, Anita, rushed around the Saanich kitchen answering phones and filling orders as the smell of channa masala and butter chicken wafted through the air. This was only their second day after reopening and despite only telling friends and family, orders were flooding in.

“It’s been really busy,” Madhar said, adding that the neighbourhood was quick to take notice of the neon open sign and made their way in. “The support is just crazy.”

READ ALSO: Saanich Indian restaurant reduced to rubble during busy holiday season

He was pleased to finally turn that open sign back on – “after a year and five days, it feels really great.”

On Dec. 4, 2019, just before 9 a.m., the driver of an SUV crashed through the Indian restaurant – near the intersection of Burnside Road West and Harriet Road – demolishing the front end of the building. The driver continued another 80 metres before coming to a stop.

The driver sustained minor injuries and, luckily, no one was inside or walking by at the time.

“That would have been really bad,” Madhar said, adding that he was supposed to be in at 8:30 that morning but was running late.

The ongoing pandemic played a big role in extending the closure, Madhar said. Not only did the old building require extensive repairs, but COVID-19 made it difficult to get inspectors and contractors into the restaurant. He was grateful insurance covered most of the repairs and said anything else will go through ICBC.

In January, Kuku’s Restaurant marks 12 years in Saanich and Madhar joked that with all the barriers they faced this year, it was harder to reopen than it was to open as a new business in 2009.

READ ALSO: Car crash causes extensive damage to Saanich restaurant

While Madhar was looking forward to seeing the finished renovations and getting back to work, he was most excited to see his regulars again as many are like family.

However, the long closure did allow the Madhars to take a well-deserved break – before the closure, they hadn’t taken more than 10 days off in 12 years.

“It was a big break. I’m good for another 10 years,” he said with a laugh. “We’re back open, we’ve got your home-cooking meals back in action.”

Madhar’s go-to is the lamb curry but noted that the dinner special is the most popular.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

car crashDistrict of Saanichrestaurant

Just Posted

O.K. Industries is building a quarry next to Capital Regional District land, as shown in this map from the rezoning applicaiton. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)
Millstream Quarry wins again in court against Highlands community’s appeal

Judges rule province not obligated to investigate climate change before issuing permit

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read