Siblings Taj and Harris Sohal are aiming to open Glassey later this month in Truxton Circle, where they will show off the Indian-American cuisine they grew up with—including creative street food dishes and a potential signature dish they’re billing as D.C.’s spiciest curry.
It’s the first time the Sohals have attempted to open a restaurant, and the pair chose the location at 1625 1st St. NW because it’s next door to Sunset Wine & Spirit, a liquor store their immigrant parents bought in 2000 after moving to the District in the 1990s with less than $100 to their name, according to Taj. They also live nearby. “We grew up seeing our parents working tirelessly and were extremely inspired by their perseverance,” she adds.
While the idea of working with a sibling might seem like a nightmare to some people, Taj says she and her brother have been inseparable as they were born just a year and five months apart (Taj, 21, is the younger sibling to Harris, 22). “As we got older, we figured, ‘Who better to help make our dreams come true than each other?’” she says.
They chose the name “Glassey” because it’s a term used in Punjab, India, to “describe a boozy fun-filled time,” she explains. “We constantly heard the term used growing up when our parents had their get-togethers at home and it is the perfect explanation of our vision for Glassey … We wanted to show D.C. our version of India,” she adds.
They’re putting the finishing touches on the interior and hope to open later this month, but eager diners can already browse the menu on the restaurant’s website. Their self-described “street food” includes masala fries, samosas, a naan-nacho hybrid, chicken tikka wings, butter chicken and rice, kathi rolls, and tikka tacos.
The dishes are a reflection of the Indian-American food their mother would cook for them, Taj says. “Me and my brother were quite picky eaters, so my mom found fun modern ways to feed us Indian dishes.”
For those who like their food with a kick, the duo will launch “D.C.’s spiciest curry challenge,” daring diners to try a Mirchi chicken curry made with dangerously hot Carolina Reaper peppers. Anyone who can finish it gets his or her photo displayed on Glassey’s “wall of fame.”
“We are excited to see what daredevils we encounter and who will actually make it on to the Wall of Fame,” Taj says. But the picky eater warns, “This challenge is not for the fainthearted. I, for one, will not be one of them.”
Cool off with a full range of Indian-inspired cocktails including a mango lassi spiked with rum and Bailey’s and a chai-tini with chai tea, vodka, Bailey’s, and masala. Hookah will also be available.
When the restaurant opens, the hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Glassey, 1625 1st St. NW, Unit A; (202) 483-8286; glasseydc.com