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New Nepalese-Indian restaurant, Namaste, opens today at 286 Main St.

  • Chef Krishna Paudel and owner Swostik “Sunny” Rana Magar in the new Indian and Napalese restaurant, Namaste at 286 Main St. in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Chef Krishna Paudel with the clay oven they will use to make naan and other Indian and Napalese food at Namaste on Main Street in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • New Indian and Napalese restaurant Namaste on Main Street in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Chef Krishna Paudel in the kitchen where he will craft Indian and Napalese food at Namaste on Main Street in Greenfield. January 31, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Monday, February 05, 2018

GREENFIELD — At a dumpling festival in Queens, N.Y., Swostik “Sunny” Rana Magar started to realize that maybe people in America would like his home country’s food.

As people ate momo — Nepalese dumplings — Magar dreamed of his own restaurant after years of working in the business for other people.

While Magar thought about opening a restaurant of his own, his countryman and longtime friend Krishna Paudel was a chef at the high-end West Hartford restaurant INDIA, founded by the celebrity chef Prasad Chirnomula.

All the while, Timothy Grader, Greenfield property owner of the 286 Main St. location, was in search of a new restaurant to replace Indian by Nature after it was shut down by the city in September following repeated health violations.

Grader ate at INDIA and became a fan of Paudel’s culinary skills. Quickly, Paudel and Magar became his choice to replace the Indian restaurant in town. It just had to pass through inspections.

“Namaste” (pronounced na-ma-stay), a restaurant serving Nepalese and Indian cuisine, will open today now that the Health Department gave its final approval Friday following two-plus months of work to renovate and open.

“We just want to make sure everything was done properly,” Magar said. “I understand that a lot of people had experiences here, but this will be totally new.”

Magar’s restaurant will keep Indian food favorites — and over time plan on bringing back the lunch buffet — but the restaurant will also feature Nepalese food, which is often thought of as Indo-Chinese.

What else is new? Namaste will offer free delivery within 10 miles of its Main Street spot, Magar said. And he plans on getting a full liquor license, but for now will allow alcohol on a bring-your-own basis.

Perhaps the biggest change beyond the menu items themselves is the ingredients they will be made with. Magar plans on sourcing his food as locally as possible. He is working with the Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture (CISA) to figure out what he can source. Plus, everything will be made in-house, including the naan bread.

“We will make everything fresh here,” Paudel said proudly. “Everything homemade, even the sauces.”

The space has seen several different restaurants over the years, but Grader believes this new restaurant will serve the community for years to come.

“I know it’s been an exhaustive process for them and they’ve really stuck it out and done a great job with the renovation,” Grader said.

As for the name of the restaurant, Magar wanted to pick a name that he said everybody understands, a name that is common to many cultures. When people visit to his home, in his culture, people greet them with “namaste” out of respect. On the restaurant’s website, it explains Namaste as, “We remove the distance between us, have no differences between us, share mutual respect with humility as one. We are the same and we are one.”

“Not only do we want to use the name but we want to use the philosophy in our restaurant,” Magar said.

You can reach
Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264