Khan’s Mongolian Barbeque, a south metro Asian institution for 28 years, will close its Richfield location for good Sunday.
The family-owned restaurant posted the news Wednesday to Facebook, prompting an outpouring of genuine sorrow from south Minneapolitans, Richfielders, and Bloomingtonians.
“This is devastating,” one customer wrote. “To be completely honest, Khan’s being here is one of the very very few reasons we haven’t moved out of Richfield yet.”
“Oh man, such a legacy,” another wrote. “I want to respond with sadness and shock.”
“This is terrible, this is our family’s favorite place,” wrote yet another. “We are so sad.”
The “hard decision” stemmed from several factors, the family writes, including construction around 494 & Portland Avenue, their lease at 500 E. 78th St. ending, ongoing pandemic challenges, and industry-wise staffing woes.
“It’s bittersweet to close this location,” owner Sherri “Mama Khan” Law tells Racket. “Our family has grown up in this restaurant; we’ve had four generations of customers bringing their families here; and it has been an honor to serve his community for so long.”
In 1988, “Mama” and “Papa” Khan opened their original shop in Dinkytown. They’d soon expand operations to Richfield and Roseville, and the latter spot at 2720 Snelling Ave., it should be noted, will not be closing anytime soon.
The family is largely responsible for introducing Minnesotans to the concept of Mongolian BBQ, where diners load their plates with fresh meats, veggies, and noodles before witnessing the delicious alchemy of the concoction being grilled to life in a vortex of flame and oil. Remarkably, Mama Khan has been crafting each sauce by hand since ’88. (You can buy those sauces in Roseville, she adds.)
Mongolian barbeque, at least as Americans understand it, was actually popularized as a Taiwanese trend in the ’70s, the Denver Post reported in 2011, centered on a myth that Mongol warriors cooked protein-packed meals atop their shields.
You can pile your plate high at Richfield Khan’s one last time until closing time on Sunday.