JACKSON HEIGHTS — A new restaurant serving Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian goodies such as lollipop chicken dubbed "drums of heaven" opened last week in a smaller space carved out of the former Norling Tibet Kitchen.
Chautari Restaurant opened in the storefront on Roosevelt Avenue between 74th and 75th streets, which was split and will feature live music and space for private parties. A smaller, unleased store takes up about a third of the former restaurant.
"The restaurant was cut to help pay the rent," said Raju Raunayar, 40, who helped with construction.
Norling Tibet Kitchen closed last fall, he said, and crews began work a few months later.
The eatery sells wine and beer in addition to a menu featuring Tibetan and Nepali favorites like momos, Laphing noodles and deep-fried lollipop chicken — also known as "drums of heaven."
A corner space next to the bar is a makeshift stage, where musicians play on the weekends, according to waiter Sandesh Pokarel, 23.
"It's a party atmosphere," on the weekends, he said, when the restaurant stays open until 1:45 a.m and musicians play Nepali and Indian music.
The restaurant also has a catering hall in the basement that can accommodate up to 90 people for private parties, he said.
Chautari Restaurant, 74-15 Roosevelt Ave., is open from 11 a.m until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. until 1:45 a.m. Friday through Sunday.