Inde Fusion: Chris McKinley to Head Up Indian Fusion Restaurant in Scottsdale

Chris McKinley (left) and Rupesh Shetty
Chris McKinley (left) and Rupesh Shetty
Left: Lauren Saria; right: courtesy of Rupesh Shetty

Later this year, first-time restaurateur Rupesh Shetty plans to open an Indian fusion restaurant called Inde Fusion at 7704 East Doubletree Ranch Road, inside the Shops at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale. Shetty brings more than 20 years of experience in food and beverage management and hotel and resort operations to the project — and to head up the kitchen he's tapped none other than chef Chris McKinley.

Shetty, who has lived in North Scottsdale since 2004, was born and raised in Mumbai, where his father is a restaurateur. He's worked in management with Four Seasons and founded Inde Fusion, LLC last year to "realize his lifelong dream of owning and operating a successful hospitality operation."

As for McKinley, Valley food lovers may remember the chef as the culinary talent behind the short-lived downtown Phoenix restaurant The Local. Though well-regarded by critics, the restaurant lasted about six months, closing about a year ago after a slow summer and an investor's pulling out of the business. Before teaming up with former Merc Bar general manager Adam Hargett to open that spot, McKinley won recognition for his work as chef at Atlas Bistro in Scottsdale. Since the Local's closure, McKinley's been working for Fox Restaurant Concepts.

According to a press release, Inde Fusion will "offer dishes that are infused with Indian flavors adapted to the American palate." Expect traditional Indian spices and preparations, but applied to create modern, simple cuisine. The menu will consist of "tapas-style" small plates, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, smaller portion entrées, and mini-desserts. A lounge menu will include mixed drinks, signature cocktails, martinis, craft beer, and wine.

For the design of the restaurant, Shetty's brought in designer Jose Martinez of FoRM Design Studio, whose work includes the now-defunct Barcelona and Mint nightclub in Old Town Scottdale. Architect David Ross of Ross Design Group, whose past projects include Zinc Bistro and Pure Sushi, will also work on the restaurant. 

The upscale venue will also incorporate an ancient form of Indian architecture called Vastu Shastra. These designs are "intended to integrate architecture with nature, to create a space that exists in harmony with the four main forces of nature — air, water, fire and Earth." 

Shetty hopes to have the restaurant open by fall of this year. 


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