Local Indian restaurant adding a banquet hall

Rajinder Singh Grewal, right, and his wife Alka Grewal own Friend’s Indian Restaurant. They are expanding the business with plans to add a banquet hall.

Friend’s Indian Restaurant in Lodi will be expanding its business by adding a new banquet hall which will replace the previously vacated furniture store next door.

Rajinder Singh Grewal opened Friend’s, located at 1040 W. Kettleman Lane, in September of 2014. The restaurant offers traditional Punjabi food and has introduced Lodians to the spice and taste of Indian cuisine. The restaurant has also been a favored spot for Indian people in the community.

Since opening his restaurant, Grewal has been looking for a space to host cultural gatherings. After the furniture store became available, he seized the opportunity to lease the property and bring a traditional Indian banquet hall to Lodi.

According to Grewal’s son Aksham Grewal, who helps his father manage the restaurant, the family felt the need to fill a cultural void by offering the community a space to host a wedding and other events.

“There isn’t an Indian banquet hall in Lodi or Stockton, and people have to travel out of town to Sacramento or to the Bay Area to find a place," Aksham said.

Aksham said that a traditional Indian wedding has hundreds of attendees and that many facilities in Lodi can’t accommodate that many people.

Rajinder said his planned banquet hall will be able to host over 400 people and will offer guests the option of a portable stage, dance floor, and bar. Aksham added that the hall would also offer guests the convenience of not having to look to third-party rentals for linens or catering as they will offer renters catering options from their restaurant menu.

“We are currently purchasing tables and chairs, and people won’t have to worry about the extra cost of renting plates and glasses because we will already have that,” Aksham said.

Aksham, who has played a large role in developing the concept of the banquet hall, believes the community will be impressed with the design of the hall.

“We are completely remodeling the space. There will be new floors and fixtures, and we are adding new chandeliers,” Aksham said.

Construction on the new property is scheduled to begin early next week with hopes of having the project completed in the next couple of months.

“We want to provide a place that is convenient and welcoming to everyone,” Aksham said.

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