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South Asian Standby Cusbah Will Close After 8 Years on H Street NE

The North Indian and Pakistani restaurant will call it quits in mid-November

Cusbah’s last day of service is Sunday, November 15.
@4mybelly/Cusbah

Cusbah, a self-described “curry house” and cocktail bar on H Street NE known for North Indian and Pakistani cuisine, halal kebabs, and a weekend happy hour, will permanently close on Sunday, November 15, according to a statement shared with Eater. Despite trying out takeout and delivery and hosting customers on a large, covered patio during the pandemic, the 8-year-old operation was ultimately unable to make ends meet.

Soophia Hussain poses with a mural at Cusbah
Soophia Hussain started out Cusbah as a 22-year-old food runner when her cousin Sarosh Hussain and father Tariq Hussain opened the restaurant in 2012.
@imbibephotography/Cusbah

“Unfortunately, 2020 presented circumstances that we could never have predicted, and while we have fought to keep our doors open we are unable to continue,” owner Soophia Hussain says in the statement. Hussain was a 22-year-old food runner when her cousin Sarosh Hussain and father, Tariq Hussain, opened the restaurant in 2012.

Reliable orders served across the lantern-lined space include paneer makhni curry cooked with coriander and spices, garlic naan, vegetable samosas and a range of kebabs grilled on a tandoori. A “vodka hour” on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. features $9 Ketel One cocktails like a grapefruit rose fizz and cucumber mint mule.

Regulars can expect specials and giveaways announced closer to the closing date.

Cusbah’s kebabs are cooked over a tandoori grill.
@foodsinmyheart/Cusbah

Hussain was one of several H Street restaurant owners involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, donating hundreds of meals to protesters this summer. Cusbah almost closed back in 2016 due to a legal dispute with its landlord that was later resolved. Nearby Mexican restaurant Chupacabra was able to prolong its demise until the end of October thanks to community support.

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