Chef Sushant Dhuri

Chef Sushant Dhuri makes chicken vindaloo at Royal Spice.

An Indian restaurant in downtown Keene is closing, according to its owner.

In a Facebook message to The Sentinel Monday, Perparime Abdullahu, owner of Royal Spice, said the eatery’s last day will be May 31.

“[Due] to everything that is going on right now, we have [come] to a very sad decision to close Royal Spice,” a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page says.

The post thanked the eatery’s customers for their support and friendship.

“I have loved serving you all and also working with you all,” the post states.

Abdullahu said Tuesday morning that it has been a tough couple of months for the business, which has been limited to takeout and delivery because of the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, business hadn't been good, she said. While their landlord, Dorrie Masten, had given them a discount on the space, they were still struggling to pay the restaurant's bills, Abdullahu said.

Her husband, Sushant Dhuri, is the restaurant's chef, and loves the experience, she said. They're hoping maybe in a year, if things improve, they might open a small takeout eatery in Keene, she said. 

The restaurant's Facebook post asks anyone planning to order from the restaurant between now and May 31 to call the establishment directly at 903-0535 and pay in cash so the business can avoid incurring credit card fees in its final days.

The restaurant will be open for takeout and delivery Wednesday to Monday from 4 to 8 p.m., Abdullahu said.

Royal Spice opened at 8 Winter St. in September 2018. It replaced The Spice Chambers, another Indian restaurant that had been in the space three years prior before closing.

The announcement of Royal Spice’s closure comes as other restaurants in the Monadnock Region are shutting down due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the past month, Elm City Bagels in Keene, Kogetsu in Peterborough, Audrey’s Cafe in Dublin and Piedra Fina in Marlborough have all closed because of the pandemic, their owners have said.