TNT Diner

Closed or open? Checking in on Julie’s Gluten-Free Bakery and India Mahal

Here are updates on restaurants that recently have closed. Have a question about a restaurant that appears to have closed? Get in touch with me. My contact information is at the end of the story.


Julie Kropf opened her South Hill gluten-free bakery in August 2012. She specialized in gluten-free baked goods, both savory and sweet. I appreciated that her cupcakes were topped with real buttercream frosting (no shortening or fillers used), and her savory offerings ranged from gluten-free French bread to crostini. The bakery was the only of its kind in Pierce County.

Last month, Kropf closed the bakery, saying she was having trouble paying off a loan she took out to fund the bakery. A last-minute crowd-sourcing campaign to save the bakery failed, but Kropf isn’t giving up on her dream.

“I'm going to lick my wounds and find a better place. Just like Molly Brown, you can't keep me down,” she said via email.

Kropf’s bakery was tucked into the back of a shopping center, which Kropf said made it difficult for customers to find it.

Kropf is looking into catering opportunities right now. The bakery’s Facebook page is still active at


Downtown Tacoma’s India Mahal has closed. The restaurant at Ninth and Pacific Avenue has been replaced by a Herfy’s, a regional restaurant with an odd Japanese-Chinese-burger mashup that hardly resembles the Herfy’s I knew as a kid. (Anyone remember the endless pickle and condiment bars at some of the old Herfy’s restaurants?)

With so few Indian restaurants left in the region, I contacted the family that operated India Mahal and asked: Is this a move? Or a closure?

The answer: It’s a closure that perhaps will turn into a reopening at some point. India Mahal’s owners are searching for another location, but they don’t yet have a space. I’ll give an update when and if the restaurant finds a new home.

Meanwhile, India Mahal’s sister restaurant of the same name continues to operate in University Place. Find that India Mahal at 1905 Bridgeport Way W., University Place; 253-564-2039.