Faces Of Nantucket: Dilip Maharjan

Jason Graziadei & Charity Grace Mofsen •

FACES Dilip 14
Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

Name: Dilip Maharjan

  • Years on the island: 24
  • Favorite thing about Nantucket: I’ve found so many people are friendly. When I walk anywhere, it’s hard to explain, but it’s like I‘m home away from home.

When Dilip Maharjan left Nepal and arrived in the United States 24 years ago on an H-2B visa, he was expecting the entire country to look like the cities he already knew about - Boston, New York, or Miami. Instead, he ended up on Nantucket, which was nothing like the land he had imagined. But quickly, he said, the island grew on him.

Dilip started in the kitchen of the Bamboo Supper Club, working for Shannon Haddon. When he first arrived Dilip didn’t speak any English, so when the work was done for the night after last call, Haddon and the other staff at the Bamboo would give him “lessons” to help him learn.

“In Nantucket, you talk to everyone,” Dilip said. “It’s friendly. It’s so comfortable.”

That environment and the opportunities he had on Nantucket led him to stay on the island rather than return to Nepal. Over the next decade, Dilip became a familiar face around the island while he worked at Stubby’s and Lola Burger, greeting customers with his big smile and friendly banter.

In 2016 he became a United States citizen, and the following year was hired as a sushi chef at Lola 41 on South Beach Street, where he works to this day.

“I love it,” Dilip said of his job at Lola. “It’s so much fun. You’re working, but at the same time you get to see the people.”

More than two decades after he arrived on Nantucket, Dilip is now an island homeowner, married, and the father of a kindergartener who attends Nantucket Elementary School.

“Being in Nantucket, it’s a great place,” he said. “Whatever you’re doing, just keep doing it.

We’re hard-working, and there is more opportunity on Nantucket. And the people are really nice here.”

All photos by Charity Grace Mofsen.

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