Though the restaurant is still working on securing its liquor license, the bar program could be one of the highlights at Vajra, the new Nepalese and Indian restaurant that opens Thursday in West Town. Solid cocktails are a way to ensure survival inside the former Charlatan space and something South Asian restaurants lack in Chicago. But they’re becoming increasingly popular at restaurants like Mango Pickle, and even the upcoming Superkhana International which spun out from a pop-up held at bars.
Vajra, pending the license, will eventually serve spirit-free and boozy drinks, riffs on classics like mango lassi. The bar will never be the center of the restaurant; South Asian traditionalists may balk at that. Vajra will still try to innovate, but there’s something for everyone: Diners can still find chicken tikka masala and garlic naan. But they’ll also find goat kebobs and tandoori venison.
Check out the space and a few shots of the food below. Vajra opens tonight. Reservations are on Tock.
Vajra, 1329 W. Chicago Avenue, (312) 929-4990, hours not posted yet.