Framingham Council grants first liquor license – MetroWest Daily News

Green Leaf OK’d for liquor license

Originally posted in the MetroWest Daily News on Feb 21, 2018
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FRAMINGHAM — After moving to a new location on Water Street, a four-year-old vegetarian and vegan restaurant is preparing to expand its menu.

Green Leaf, which previously operated a 62-seat restaurant at 665 Cochituate Road, reopened Jan. 11 in the former home of the Art House Grille.

Now in a larger 80-seat facility at 62 Water St., the eatery plans to begin serving beer, wine and other drinks after receiving approval from city officials last week.

In its first official act, Framingham’s new Board of License Commissioners voted Feb. 14 to grant an all-alcohol license to the eatery, which is owned by Jegatheeswaran Easwaramuthali and chef Balaji Shanmugam.

During last week’s meeting, the pair said they developed a loyal customer base at their former location, but left amid problems with their lease.

“We had customers come in and ask, ‘Why can’t we have a little bit of wine, a glass of beer?’” Easwaramuthali said. “So we said, ‘We’re going to look at providing you that in the future,’ but at the same time, we had a problem with the lease, so we have to move out, and we found a new place on 62 Water St.”

The business specializes in healthy, meat-free meals, including Shanmugam’s signature Gobi Manchurian appetizer – chickpea flour-battered cauliflower, fried and then tossed in a spicy and sweet tomato sauce with sautéed peppers and onions, and topped with cilantro. Other mainstays include the vegan and gluten-free enchiladas and the potato leek pizza – red bliss potatoes, grilled leeks, goat cheese, caramelized onions and mozzarella on a grilled thin crust, drizzled with basil pesto.

Easwaramuthali said the business received its food license from the Board of Selectmen in December, allowing it to resume operations on Water Street in early January.

“As soon as we opened it, a lot of people came in and they showed their appreciation,” he said, “and they loved the food and they were happy to be back in eating the same food which they lost for a few months while we were doing the transition.”

The restaurant employs two servers and four cooks, as well as an assistant manager. It closes 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, which are some of its busiest hours, Easwaramuthali said.

While serving alcohol is a new responsibility, Easwaramuthali said he recently attended an alcohol class geared toward restaurants, and will continue receiving training on how to safely serve patrons in the future.

“We just want to satisfy the customers’ need — provide them with a glass of wine, a beer, things like that,” he said, “so they can be fully satisfied when they come in and leave the restaurant.”