TMAD Just Opened in Valparaiso, IN

The Times of Northwest Indiana

Teriyaki Madness, a Seattle-style teriyaki shop, sold out during its first few days after opening in Valparaiso.

Owners Haresh and Nikky Prithyani, who own the Chesterton Montessori School, hope to open several other Northwest Indiana locations. They’re eyeing Chesterton, Merrillville, Michigan City and Mishawaka.

“We just need to get our feet wet first,” Haresh Prithyani said.

They opened their first Teriyaki Madness franchise at 2502 Calumet Ave. in Valparaiso, in a former Family Video that they converted into a strip mall. They have two other suites for rent in the building, which they removed the awning from so it wouldn’t be so obvious it used to be a Family Video.

The fast-casual Asian restaurant chain serves customizable made-to-order teriyaki bowls, such as chicken teriyaki, steak teriyaki, salmon teriyaki and spicy tofu teriyaki that mix proteins with rice and vegetables.

The Prithyanis had been looking to open another business when they stumbled upon Teriyaki Madness.

“We tried it in Tennessee when we were traveling back from Nashville, where my wife has family,” he said. “It sounded pretty bold. We loved the food.  It’s tasty food with fresh ingredients that are made to order. So we talked to the owners and they connected us with the franchise.”

Prithyani liked the concept.

“I didn’t want to do fast food or another pizza place,” he said.

The 2,000-square-foot restaurant has about 30 seats and will eventually add an outdoor patio with about six to eight more seats. It delivers via third-party services like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

It currently employs about 18 people but hopes to have about 24 to 26 when it’s easier to hire staff.

For now, the Valparaiso location is the only one in Indiana.

“So far the praise has been insane,” he said. “There was a two-hour wait time during the opening but people were on board with waiting. It’s a West Coast company that serves fresh food. It’s healthy. It’s trying something new.”

The Valparaiso location is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.