Sept. 17, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
The owners of Seva on 34th Street are in gear to open a new Indian restaurant called Yaar.
The restaurant will be located at 22-55 31st St.
Owner Vinod Sharma, a 15-year Astoria resident, said that Yaar is a slang term meaning “friend.”
Like Seva, Yaar will offer mostly North Indian cuisine, Sharma said. However, due to the larger kitchen, they will be able to serve more “creative” dishes and ingredients.
“We can use our imaginations,” he said.
Sharma said that his wife Charu Rajput is “the brain behind the menu.” Dishes she has planned so far include minced lamb samosas with tomato-based chutney, oven-baked okra, spicy potato-stuffed chiles, and pumpkin and cheese kebab, which Sharma said is a popular vegetarian kebab in India.
The restaurant will also serve classics such as chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken.
“Fifty percent of the menu is going to be very creative, different, and 50 percent of the menu is what people have as their favorites,” Sharma explained.
Yaar will also be BYOB. Sharma said this is traditional for many establishments in India, and also said he believes it is appropriate for the area.
“Astoria has a lot of bars, especially Ditmars,” he said. “So we thought, instead of concentrating on the beer and wine, why don’t we allow people to bring their own draft beers, their own special wines?”
If there is a demand, he added, they may seek a liquor license in the future.
Yaar will offer family-style dining, with moderately-sized dishes ranging from $10 to $12. Sharma estimated that the restaurant will seat about 50 people, with a party room in the back for about 10.
Though he is currently handling some renovation complications, Sharma said he expects to be open in early October.