Mirch Masala, the Indian and Nepali restaurant at 14 W. Mifflin St. on the Capitol Square, closed Jan. 1 after landlord Marty Rifkin didn't renew its lease, said the restaurant's owner Gokul Silwal.

For more than two years, Silwal sublet the spot from the owner of the previous restaurant, Flavor of India. His partner in Mirch Masala, Nupu Lama, left about a year ago.

Silwal is looking for another Downtown location, possibly on State Street, he said.

A native of Nepal, Silwal served as head chef at the erstwhile Chautara on State Street for almost 12 years before opening his own place. He also served as head chef at Mirch Masala.

Silwal said Rifkin didn't renew his lease because a steak house is renting out the former Mirch Masala space as well as other space that has sat vacant in the same building.

Rifkin said the steak house will be in the range of 5,000 square feet. More on that restaurant next week.

Read more Restaurant News at: http://go.madison.com/restaurantnews.

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