WEST TOWN — A Nepalese-Indian restaurant in West Town that closed in June has reopened in the same location for takeout and delivery.
Vajra, 1329 W. Chicago Ave., closed June 19 after more than three years in business. Manager Dipesh Kakshapaty said the owners were concerned they couldn’t make ends meet with rising costs and expenses, leading to its closure.
Vajra’s owners tried to work out a deal with another restaurant to take over their lease, but that fell through, Kakshapaty said. To start bringing in money again, the restaurant is reopening.
Chef Min Thapa is returning to the restaurant after spending the past few months at Rishi in River North, Kakshapaty said.
The restaurant was selected for Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list in 2021 and 2022, which praised Thapa’s cooking as “replete with wonderfully rich flavors and unique methods.”
Vajra’s menu includes Indian classics such as tikka masala and curries, biryanis and Nepalese momo dumplings.
Even after pandemic restrictions on restaurants were lifted in 2021, Vajra stayed open exclusively for takeout and delivery. That isn’t changing as it reopens this month, but the restaurant is taking bookings for indoor private events and parties, Kakshapaty said.
“The reason for closing was the mounting costs. The labor crunch, the prices of everything has gone up … . So if we add dine-in to that dynamics … we will need a lot of hands on deck. It’s hard to find people and hard to keep up with that,” Kakshapaty said.
Vajra is open for takeout and delivery 5-9 p.m. daily, Kakshapaty said.
Takeout orders can be placed through the restaurant’s website, various delivery apps and phone.
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