Priyanka Chopra
Keeping traditions alive

Priyanka Chopra Jonas holds a prayer ceremony to celebrate the opening of her Indian restaurant in New York

The actress, her team, and Maneesh Goyal reunited at Sona to perform a Puja

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is officially ready to open her New York-based Indian restaurant doors after holding a traditional prayer ceremony. The actress, her team, and Restaurateur Maneesh Goyal reunited at Sona to perform a worship ritual known as Puja and offer devotional homage and prayer to the Almighty.

During the Puja, the attendees burned incense and offered light, flowers, and food to the deities. “This morning at SONA, we conducted a small puja or blessing ceremony. We’ll be seeing our first guests very soon, and it was important to both @priyankachopra and myself that we hold a puja before our doors are officially open,” wrote Goyal on Instagram. “It was so special to gather in this way. Friends & supporters of @sonanewyork from India to London to California joined in.”

During the Puja, the attendees burned incense and offered light, flowers, and food to the Almighty

According to Goyal, the ritual, held three days before the big opening on March 26, 2021, was the second they had on the premises. “This morning’s ceremony was especially poignant since, in September 2019, we did a similar ceremony to bless the space while it was raw—before we started any construction at all. At that time, we thought we’d be open by the Summer of 2020. Of course, we had no idea what 2020 had in store for us. I give that first blessing a lot of credit for seeing us through…and guiding us as we fought to keep our project alive,” he said. “And now, a year and half after that first puja, SONA is ready. I am so grateful for all the blessings we have received. Here we go!”

Weeks before the second ritual, the restaurateur also took social media to thank his business partner for her contributions to the project. “Opening a restaurant is a team effort for sure. I’m gonna spend the next few posts proudly sharing the people who brought SONA to life. First, my kind friend @priyankachopra, who has been the creative force behind SONA. There is no one who better—and more boldly—personifies “global Indian” than Pri. SONA is so lucky to have her in our corner,” he wrote.

“From the design, to the menu, to the music, to even the name, Priyanka has her fingerprints all over SONA. Love you dear Pri! Our baby is finally ready for the world to see!”

At the same time, Chopra Jonas shared with the world the news of her restaurant. “I’m thrilled to present to you SONA, a new restaurant in NYC that I poured my love for Indian food into. SONA is the very embodiment of timeless India and the flavours I grew up with,” she revealed. “The kitchen is helmed by the incredible Chef @harinayak, a masterful talent, who has created the most delicious and innovative menu, taking you on a food journey through my amazing country. SONA is opening later this month, and I can’t wait to see you there! This endeavour would not have been possible without the leadership of my friends Maneesh Goyal and David Rabin. Thank you to our designer Melissa Bowers and the rest of the team for realizing this vision so clearly.”