For years, planners and developers have been trying to transform the main corridor of close-in Hyattsville, MD — just down Route 1 from the University of Maryland and close to the Rhode Island Avenue station on Metro’s Red Line — from a dreary drag into a genuine destination. And these efforts are now paying off. The stretch now dubbed the Arts District is full has come alive with a new urban shopping area, the Shoppes at Arts District, whose latest addition — the modern Indian fast casual restaurant Spice 6 – is a must-try for anyone living in the area or just passing through.
Spice 6 allows diners to customize their orders, selecting different combinations of base (such as naan, white or brown rice, naan pizza, or salad), protein, curry sauce or chutney, and extras. The restaurant is now open daily at 5501 Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) in Hyattsville’s popular Arts District.
When Spice 6 creator Vik Singh met Streetsense’s Andrew Poncher, they immediately knew the concept was a perfect fit for Streetsense’s Hyattsville retail project. Once they formalized the deal, the brand-building process began. Streetsense’s creative, architectural, and design teams worked together to create a cohesive identity befitting Singh’s exciting new concept. The highlight of the space is an open kitchen showcasing the restaurant’s traditional Tandoor, allowing patrons to watch chef Upendra Thapaliya, a 20-year veteran chef from Nepal, artfully prepare their meals.
With the goal of inventing a unique brand identity, Streetsense’s design team created a bright, henna-esque logo to channel the concept’s heritage as well as the cuisine’s signature spices. Chili peppers add an air of fun to the traditionally inspired icon. To balance the warmth of the logo (and the heat of the food), the team developed a cooler-toned interior scheme. Various shades of blue adorn the walls and chic, silver-toned tiles clad several of the walls.
“I was seeking a graphic and architectural brand that transcended the traditional while incorporating the best elements of healthy Indian food,” said Singh. “The Streetsense team delivered everything from our location to our logo to our look.”
Understanding Singh’s desire to provide an authentic experience while educating customers on the art and process of authentic Indian cooking,Streetsense’s design group did extensive research. The result features an intricate stain pattern mimicking Indian carpet artwork covering the concrete flooring, illuminated by an array of modern light fixtures. A luxurious banquette, an oversized wood carving of the brand’s logo, a dedicated area for displaying both local and Indian art, and Streetsense-designed menu boards smartly finish off the interior.
As one of the first fast-casual restaurants of its kind in the Washington DC area, Spice 6 delivers a modern take on authentic Indian cuisine and aesthetics through its wholesome menu options and eclectic, layered décor.“We are extremely excited to see this brand come to life,” said Rhena Saar, interior architect for Streetsense, “especially here in the Arts District.”