Sunday, December 10, 2023

New vegetarian restaurant opens in City Center

Stuffed blueberry Gypsy Toast (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Vedeat)
Stuffed blueberry Gypsy Toast (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Vedeat)

NEWPORT NEWS — The former Lunch Bell spot is now a modern eatery catered to vegetarians.

Vedeat opened July 4 in City Center at Oyster Point and has been busy ever since.

“I used to live in City Center and I love this area,” said Prajwolita “Praju” Sapkota, who co-owns the business with her husband, Karun. “It was one of those things where I see a lot of potential and said why not try it.”

Growing up, her family had restaurants and while she never planned to own one herself, Sapkota got into the restaurant business despite all of the hard work it required, she said.

Before opening Vedeat, the couple previously owned Aago Indian Nepalese Restaurant and Bar — they sold the restaurant to their business partner about two years ago.

Sapkota said the name is from the word Ayurveda which means a study of the balance between mind, body and soul.

“We wanted to focus on the body through diet using fresh, organic and locally available ingredients,” she said.

After taking a class in New York, she thought people needed healthy food in Newport News, but there were “not a lot of options for vegetarians.”

“My husband used to be a vegetarian so whenever we went out to eat, he only had one of two options,” Sapkota said.

Vedeat’s menu is a mix of traditional American breakfast staples like pancakes and french toast as well as Nepalese dishes like soups and rice bar pancakes. Most the ingredients used in the restaurant to create a unique twist of Nepalese cuisine are organic, hormone-free and bought locally.

Younger people and working professionals frequent the restaurant and serve as a majority of Vedeat’s clientele. However, about 10 to 15 percent of people who come into the restaurant are older folks and on the weekends, a majority of restaurant goers are families, Sapkota said.

Instead of the Lunch Bell’s carpet covered floors, darker walls and closed in atmosphere, Vedeat took a more modern approach to the restaurant’s ambiance by adding a minimalist style with neutral colors and open space.

“We actually just took out almost everything they had,” Sapkota said. “We tried creating kinda like a modern, positive, open kinda vibe.”

The restaurant has a conference room available for anything from office meetings and private events to private parties and yoga sessions.

Vedeat, 694 Town Center Drive, is open Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about the Vedeat or the restaurant’s conference room, vist their Facebook page or call 757-873-3089.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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