Nepal Restaurant opens new location in Glenwood Meadows
The Nepal Restaurant must have found the recipe for success.
In a time when communities are trying to find ways to help restaurants survive the winter under COVID restrictions, Manik and Laxmi Sakya recently opened a second eatery, Everest Nepal Restaurant, in Glenwood Meadows on Nov. 1.
Manik Sakya, 63, said business at the Nepal Restaurant — in the Thunder River Market at the CMC turnoff on Highway 82 — increased 20% this year.
“During the COVID time we are doing very [well]. We have more business than [usual],” he said.
The increase is mostly due to takeout, Sakya said, which is partly because the restaurant has limited seating to begin with.
“It’s a tiny place. We can only accommodate 50 people, and we don’t have a lot of tables. People have to queue up outside,” Sakya said.
Sakya has spent his life in the hospitality industry, working at hotels and managing a restaurant in Nepal. He also spent 20 years in Japan promoting Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan tourism. After 9/11 he came to the U.S.
In 2015 he bought the Nepal Restaurant, and in 2018 he bought Thor’s Southwest Grill at 35 Market St. in Glenwood Meadows.
Thor’s wasn’t working well, and in May or June of this year the Sakyas decided to reopen it as a Nepalese restaurant. Remodeling took a couple of months, Sakya said.
There are some differences between the two restaurants.
Everest Nepal offers Tandoori chicken, which is not available at the Highway 82 location.
The business model is also different at Everest Nepal, which features “grab and go” lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s not buffet, it’s cafeteria style, which is safer in terms of the coronavirus but is still a quick way to get lunch.
“There are two reasons for that. One is definitely COVID, and the number two reason is that we like not to keep customers waiting,” Sakya said.
There are three vegetable dishes and three meat dishes, two kinds of rice, salad and naan bread. The main dishes are different each day.
“Every day our food is changing,” he said.
Diners can order lunch off the menu if they prefer.
So far the restaurant is catching on, Sakya said.
“We are getting new customers,” he said, and repeat customers as well, including people who’ve never heard of the other location. So Sakya doesn’t think Everest Nepal is taking customers away from his original location.
“The customers are little bit different [at the Highway 82 location],” he said.
Business is good enough that he’s thinking about opening a third location in Aspen or Vail, but that is somewhere down the road still.
“All the employees who are working have to be happy. If they’re not happy we cannot make the customers happy, then we cannot continue our business for the long [run],” he said.
Everest Nepal has 6 or 7 employees but could use 10-11.
“Maybe during the summertime we need more” employees when the patio can get more use, Sakya said.
Nepalese food is popular with vegetarians. There’s even a section called Vegetarian Paradise on the menu.
Sakya’s restaurants also offer dairy-free options for vegans, including one vegan item each day available as part of the grab and go.
He said they will also prepare dishes vegan upon request.
“Some of our customers cannot [eat] any dairy products, so we cook [dishes] with coconut milk [instead of cream],” he said.
Sakya said he’s not in the restaurant business to get rich.
“I’m not a money-minded type of person,” he said. “If we don’t make a lot of money it doesn’t matter. … We have good people to associate with, and this is the most important thing.”
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