Butter chicken, chana masala, samosas, Taj Mahal beer…
A typical Indian restaurant in Western New York isn’t without its charms. But it’s more likely to be a place where you chase away a hangover, not get started on one.
At the new Parivaar Pub in the Elmwood Village, owner Priya Rathod is bringing something desperately needed to local Indian food options: the modern gastropub concept. Born in the United Kingdom but mostly raised in Batavia by multicultural parents, Priya spent her formative years both working in the hospitality industry and visiting extended family in major cities like London, New York and Toronto. It’s this diverse background and a Millennial sensibility that she’s bringing to Parivaar.
“When we go to Indian places (in London and New York), the bars at these places are hyped,” she muses. “It’s a good time. So, I want to have the Bills games, hockey games and basketball games on here. I want to have fun cocktails; a nice wine and champagne list.”
Lit vibes and a smart bar might separate Parivaar from the pack, but don’t get it twisted. Food is the main focus. Like the overall concept, the menu at Parivaar is a reflection of Priya’s modern Indian background. Small plates include eggplant bruschetta ($11), tandoori chicken wings ($11) and biriyani arancini ($13). Items on the fusion menu include a chickpea pizza ($16), kofta-spiced meatball sub ($17) and a chicken tikka sandwich ($17). There are also salad bowls, rice bowls and desserts. The full bar is stocked with beer, wine and spirits.
The food, drinks and decor are meant to evoke a family-friendly party, Priya says. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those of us who know Hindi: The word ‘parivaar’ means family in English.
“My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all love cooking and love to cook together, but we also love throwing back a drink,” Priya laughs. “My parents have a wine and liquor store in Batavia, so I grew up in that industry as well.”
The new restaurant should be a welcome addition and a worthy successor to Acopolis OPA, which was in the building for almost 40 years. Priya has nothing but good things to say about former Acopolis owner Paul Tsouflidis. He helped her secure a lease for the space.
“There was a lot of competition for trying to get this spot,” Pryia says “There were some brand names, like some chain restaurants, trying to get in here. Paul had a lot of influence when it came to getting me in here. I think he liked the family aspect of my concept, as well as the business being locally-owned.”
“When I came to the Elmwood Village 8 years ago, it was a special time for me,” she adds. “Coming from Batavia, it was like a whole new world here; just the excitement and the acceptance. Now living in this community and being able to have a business here is truly an honor.”
Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Wednesday to Friday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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