PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A new Indian fusion bistro has opened in the former Broadway Lounge space in the Maxam building in downtown Peoria.

Bollywood Bites Bistro beat out 37 other applicants in the Peoria Pitch contest hosted by Broadway Lounge’s owner Andrew Driscoll.

“It was amazing. When we first started, we did not expect much. We were just giving it our best shot. But we were still hopeful because our concept was pretty cool…When we got the email from Peoria Pitch saying we were the winners, I was like, is this for real? Is this happening? From there it’s been an easy smooth transition,” said Bollywood Bites owner Irfan Mohammed.

Bollywood Bites serves Indian fusion cuisine amid a backdrop of Bollywood movies and entertainment. Mohammed said the bistro will offer many events, including DJs, singers, comedians, and dance nights.

“We’re hoping to have people come in here, and enjoy the diversity, culture, great food, entertainment, local artists, hopefully international artists,” he said.

Mohammed said the whole concept of the bistro is to bring people together while reviving downtown Peoria.

“I believe Peoria is a wonderful place to live. If we could have more visitors coming from outside, this could be a hub where people could start coming in…This will hopefully start bringing in more businesses, more restaurants,” he said.

While Bollywood Bites does not serve alcohol, they do have mocktails. Mohammed said the decision to be alcohol-free is based on his faith and also to set an example that people can have fun without booze.

Bollywood Bites’ soft opening is on Wednesday and Thursday. The grand opening is on Friday.

Operating hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight.

Learn more about the restaurant on its Facebook page.