Govinda’s Restaurant Transformation at New Vrindaban

By Nityodita das

The opening of the newly renovated Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant Friday May 10, 2013 for the Festival of Inspiration was another of New Vrindaban’s famous miraculous marathons! On Thursday, May 9, the restaurant was literally a construction site of scattered tools, ladders, paint buckets, wires and unfinished projects. When we opened on Friday afternoon, even we were astonished at the transformation!

View from inside Govinda's Restaurant

View from inside Govinda’s

The visiting devotees and NV residents were treated to a really unique and beautifully designed prasadam experience, with red and white lotus pendant lights dangling above intimate, tastefully designed booths. The fourteen-foot black “big city” ceiling gave the main dining room a spacious feel. In contrast, with its raised floor and faux candle chandelier, the back VIP dining room provided a special atmosphere which perfected its design when Radhanath Swami and senior Prabhupada disciples relished prasadam and association there! The one of a kind custom built eight foot circular buffet table was swarmed by hungry devotees day and night as they circumambulated Krsna in his Prasadam Incarnation. The nine course buffet consisted of two rice dishes, dahl, two subjis which included either a Panir or curried soya dish, puris, pakora, salad, and Halavah or sweet rice. Better than a Sunday Feast? The guests thought so!

Although we had no time to properly organize, customers were served by a staff of a dozen Brijabasis as well as volunteer devotees from New York and Alachua. Special orders of pizza, dosas, and sandwiches were whisked to hungry guests and there were no traditionally long lines or waits!

Restaurant Waiting Area

Restaurant Waiting Area

Overall, the devotees were happy. However, from the management point of view, we have so many things to improve. Our walk-in cooler is not yet operable, our kitchen needs organization, our front end staff needs training, our credit card machine needs hooking up, the Lassi booth (“Snack Shack”! ) needs to be cleaned out, rewired, re-equipped, restocked and reopened.

Adjoining Gift Shop

Entry to Adjoining Gift Shop

Very importantly, we need to do advertising and promotion to the local area to attract the locals, as prasadam distribution is our secret preaching weapon! I remember a letter from Srila Prabhupada to Kirtanananda Swami about how pleased he was that the was attracting locals.  There are devotees out there! They just need to be reawakened by the Holy Food, Holy Name, Holy Books, Holy Place and Holy People!

Hare Krsna!


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