Norman staple threatened by ongoing local construction


Misal Bistro, located at 580 Ed Noble Parkway. The restaurant has suffered a serious customer loss since construction began on surrounding roads last year.

Emma Keith

Extensive Norman construction projects are threatening the survival of a local restaurant that has brought Indian flavors to town for almost 40 years.

Misal Bistro, located on Ed Noble Parkway between Main Street and Lindsey Street, has lost a significant customer base since construction began on the Lindsey Street bridge in 2016, said restaurant co-owner Nasir Ghouri.

“(Construction) really does affect us — the bridge closed for construction last year in April, and the moment they closed the bridge, our business went down by half. It’s half of what it used to be,” Ghouri said.

Ghouri, who opened Misal Bistro in 1980 with his cousin, said the restaurant’s survival has been precarious lately, and that he has seen many of the surrounding businesses close or relocate in recent months.

“It’s a struggle — you wonder how long you can go on surviving in this mode,” Ghouri said. “You think, ‘ok, tomorrow we’re going to close,’ then, ‘tomorrow we’re going to close,’ and then things turn around for a little bit and you think, ‘ok, things are getting better again.’”

Still, Misal Bistro has loyal followers who have kept supporting the restaurant, Ghouri said. Restaurant regular Elendra Rosemberg said the friendly service and vegan options, which are not an option at other local Indian restaurants, are a continual draw.

“80 percent of it is totally friendly for vegan diets and whatnot, so we come kind of regularly now that we’ve learned about it, because it’s a good price and good food,” Rosemberg said.