Priyanka Chopra's New Restaurant Is Already Facing Challenges

Over the course of Priyanka Chopra's decades -long career, she has proven to be quite the versatile star. Not only is she an actor, singer, film producer, and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant, but she is also one of India's highest-paid entertainers (per Forbes India). She also gained massive popularity after marrying singer Nick Jonas in 2018. But did you know Chopra is also a restaurant owner? That's right! She teamed up with hospitality and nightlife veteran David Rabin and entrepreneur Maneesh Goyal to launch an Indian restaurant in New York called SONA — and it's ready to open its doors on March 26, 2021, according to Vogue.

The star announced the new project via Instagram on March 6, 2021, writing, "SONA is the very embodiment of timeless India and the flavours I grew up with." She added that the restaurant's talented chef "has created the most delicious and innovative menu, taking you on a food journey through my amazing country." Chopra and her collaborators also worked hard to find the perfect spot with Rabin telling Food & Wine, they "were relentless about location because we did not want this to be a fringe restaurant. People assess you based on your location. From the first second that people heard we were next to Gramercy Tavern, we were legitimized."

But despite all their excitement, it seems like SONA is already facing pandemic-related challenges. Keep scrolling to find out what obstacles lie ahead for Chopra and her team.

Priyanka Chopra's restaurant will open under tight restrictions

A lot of restaurants have struggled amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to "closures, inconsistent reopenings, changes in public health guidance for operations" (per ABC News), with data from Yelp revealing that 60% of the restaurants that temporarily closed have been forced to permanently shut down. This is precisely why Priyanka Chopra's new Indian restaurant, SONA, is likely to experience some challenges. Page Six reports the restaurant, located on 36 E. 20th St. in New York City's Flatiron District, will open "under still-tight restrictions: 50 percent seating capacity, no service at the bar, and an 11 p.m. curfew."

The actor's collaborator David Rabin told the outlet he was "concerned" about the timing of the restaurant's opening, but that he's hopeful things will turn out fine. "We just have to stay mindful of staff and customer compliance," he explained. "New Yorkers I think inherently want to do the right thing and get through this." As for the hiring process, he said it was not easy, but they found a way to make it work and "found some strong people." We wish Chopra and her team the best of luck amid these uncertain circumstances!