CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- You might have indulged in the acclaimed Indian cuisine at Little India restaurant, 1604 Washington St., East, and wondered about the sometimes-colorful activity disappearing up the stairway to the Upstairs Lounge.
Almost every evening, beginning at 6 p.m., something interesting is happening at the Upstairs Lounge. It may as common as a birthday party, since the bar is available for private rental, or as exotic as belly dancing by groups known as "Snake and the Pot" and "Arabian Nights."
"The bar can be reserved for events. We have our own bartender and anything from the menu downstairs can be ordered for our guests upstairs. We will work with the needs of our customer and we are very flexible," Meena Anada said. She and her husband, Harish, own the restaurant and lounge, as well as the International Groceries and Spices shop, at 5304 MacCorkle Ave., S.E.
Another attractive feature for many guests is the deck. "We have a very pretty deck outside. This is popular when the weather is nice," Meena Anada said.
Tuesdays are 'Comedy Night.' Sheila Kerr, a regular at Mojo's Comedy Open Mic, offers an hour-long show beginning at 7 p.m. "She's a really funny lady," Anada said. Kerr opened up for nationally known comedian Doug Stanhope at The Empty Glass in September.
Thursdays and Saturdays feature cabaret shows that begin at 10 p.m. Cabaret is a form of entertainment with music, comedy, song, dance, recitation, drama and female impersonation aimed at an adult audience.
Fridays are known as the belly-dancing nights. "We have 'The Snake and the Pot' from Charleston and 'Arabian Nights' from Huntington. The belly dancers are here for entertainment, but sometimes they have classes," Anada said. The belly-dancing shows are at 9 and 11 p.m.
Sundays often feature the foot-stomping old-time music jams of Bill Kimmons and FOOTMAD -- Friends of Old Time Music and Dance -- from 2-4 p.m. Kimmons is well known as part of the a capella trio Bare Bones. Anada said the group is considering making the jams a regular occurrence on the first and third Sunday of every month.
"We are an important part of the community because we add to the diversity of the East End," Anada said.
The Upstairs Lounge has been known to have jazz and karaoke as well. It also acts as an art gallery for local artists who display their art on the walls.
Little India restaurant, 1604 Washington St., East, offers a lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 12-3 p.m. Saturday and 12-8 p.m. Sunday. Dinner is Monday through Thursday from 5-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5-10 p.m. and Sunday from 8-10 p.m. Parking is available in a lot across the street. The restaurant offers a full catering menu, as well.
The Upstairs Lounge is open at 6 p.m. every evening. For additional information, go to www.littleindiawv.com, call 304-720-3616 or email littleindi...@gmail.com. The restaurant also has a Facebook page.
Reach Judy E. Hamilton at judy.hamil...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.