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Owners of Gorkha Palace, NE’s Indian/Tibetan Staple, Are Selling

Plus the latest Royce White chaos, the lasting impact of an MN slaughterhouse closure, and define 'Up North' in today's Flyover news roundup.

Facebook: Gorkha Palace

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Wanna Buy Gorkha Palace?

Well too bad! According to owner Rashmi Bhattachan, the northeast Minneapolis Tibetan, Indian, and Nepalese restaurant has already landed new owners.

"We've had this restaurant since 2010, and it just feels like now is the time to exit," she tells Racket, adding that her longtime chef and business partner Sarala Kattel is getting ready to retire. "We want to focus on MomoDosa; we have other ideas and dreams for it."

Bhattachan's dream is to sell the frozen, cooked momos that were her specialty even before Gorkha Palace opened (who remembers the Curry Lane days at the Mill City Farmers Market?) in grocery stores like Whole Foods and the co-ops. "That's what I want to work toward next," she says.

Bhattachan clarifies that they're just selling the restaurant; they don't own the building. ("Wish we did!") They're hoping to close on the deal within a few weeks, and as for what will change at Gorkha Palace? Ideally, almost nothing!

"They have told us they'll continue with our menu and name, they're not changing anything," Bhattachan says. "We have such a history, so many years of good will. We're very happy with that. The new owners are really young, energetic, vibrant—they might even bring a little more variety to the menu."

Catching Up With Royce White, Human Facepalm Emoji

"Let's not bother reporting on the Royce White water fountain tweet thing," Racket staffers resolved amongst ourselves earlier this week. "It's going to be everywhere, and surely this will be a campaign full of foibles."

We were right on both points, for better or worse. The Twitter mix-up, in which the MN GOP-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate tweeted a map of Minneapolis's "out of control" crime that was in fact a map of Minneapolis water fountains, went national, appearing everywhere from The New Republic to The Daily Beast to HuffPost.

But that's just a Wednesday for Royce; to quote pundit Keith Olbermann, the "fucking idiot is at it again," with a report in The Daily Beast today that the ex-NBA player owes more than $100K in child support.

White took the best-defense-is-a-good-offense approach when NBC reported on his history of unpaid child support last month, replying, “All you liberals really just want to shame people with kids, because you’re anti-human as fuck. That’s it. I love my children. And I’m current on my child support.”

Ah, but not so fast—the mother of one of White's children has come forward with financial statements that show he owes $100,086.82, having made just one payment in 2024 ($523.91, paid earlier this month). “Thank God I don’t rely on his support or it would be impossible,” the anonymous woman told The Daily Beast. White, of course, denies these claims.

Meanwhile, there's a movement to elect a saner, more boring, un-GOP-endorsed stiff instead: Joe Fraser, a U.S. Navy vet with 26 years of service, has been endorsed by former Senators Norm Coleman and Rudy Boschwitz, along with former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Counterpoint: Put a Royce v. Klobuchar debate on PPV—anything goes, staplers included!

Not Exactly the HyLife

In an ambitious and important story from the Star Tribune, agriculture reporter Christopher Vondracek and photographer Liz Flores headed down to Salvatierra, Mexico, to report on the families impacted by the sudden closure of a Minnesota slaughterhouse.

For nearly two years, HyLife Ltd. in Windom employed Luis David Martinez García, 26, and Liliana Ramos Vasquez, 23, on the H-2B foreign visa program. But the Minnesota plant suddenly closed last year, laying García and Vasquez off along with more than 1,000 other workers. Now, the couple find themselves back in Salvatierra, their time in the U.S. interrupted and the roof of their home unfinished, feeling, as Luis's brother tells the Strib, that "they gave me false hopes."

HyLife legally brought many Mexican employees to its Windom plant on H-2B visas during the pandemic in 2020—it's a type of visa for which employers must attest it can't find willing Americans to do the job, and Covid was ripping through the meat-packing industry. So, people like García and Vasquez came by bus, enticed by wages much greater than what they could make back home.

"The U.S. visa worker program is meant to be an all-sides-win solution," writes Vondracek, our one-time chili correspondent. "U.S. employers get workers. Foreigners, many from developing countries, get access to good-paying jobs. Consumers get affordable food. But when one actor drops their end of the bargain, it's often the workers, among the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, who are hit hardest."

Leer en español aquí.

What's "Up North," to You?

Sick of arguing about the borders of Uptown? Here's a new set of boundaries to quibble over amongst yourselves: Where does "Up North" begin in Minnesota?

Reed is fighting for his life in the replies, though he's doing so with gusto ("Gull lake is basically lake Minnetonka with a flannel shirt on," for example). His central argument is that Brainerd feels up north because the Twin Cities are technically in southern Minnesota.

But Duluth making up a part of Up North's southernmost border? Certainly, Crosby is Up North? I don't know. Please fight it out in the comments.

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