Over the past seven years, 901 W. Lake St. has been a pasta spot (Mucci’s), a bagel shop (Mevyn), a wine bar (Spill the Wine), and a taco place (Tinto Cocina). Now, the Uptown address is set to become Slurp Pop Up Noodle Shop, a limited-run Hmong eatery by Union Hmong Kitchen.
Slurp will be serving up hot, presumably slurpable, noods starting early January and running through mid-spring. The menu, described as ranging from “brothy” to “saucy,” will feature six items at a time, focusing on traditional Hmong dishes like mushroom ramen, pan-fried noodles, and Khao Poon, a red curry wedding soup typically loaded with fish sauce (hell yeah).
“We want Hmong people to feel comfortable ordering and being in our space–we want the menu to be recognizable,” UHK founder Yia Vang says via press release.
So maybe the best way to handle a “cursed space” is to make it a pop-up spot? One with an established start and end point? Vang is already an experienced temporary location guy. In fact, he isn’t even new to the Bryant & Lake spot. Before making his spectacular debut at the Minnesota State Fair (seriously, it was the best), Vang used 901 W. Lake St. as a commissary kitchen for prep. And before Union Hmong Kitchen moved into the Graze food hall in the North Loop, Vang was bopping around places like MidCity Kitchen, Republic, and Sociable Cider Werks, serving up hot noodles to warm up revelers in the frigid winter months.
Slurp will sell similar fare, with vegetarian and gluten-free dishes on the menu.
This all sounds good for south Minneapolis, which will soon have lots of delicious hot noodle options. Ramen Kazama continues to thrive not far away on 34th & Nicollet, and Ramen Shoten, a quickie stand-and-slurp shop, is scheduled to open next to Eat Street Crossing sometime… soonish.
For Vang, it’s ultimately about representing authentic Hmong food and culture, both for the Hmong community here in Minnesota as well as for folks who have never tried it.
“I firmly believe that our cultural DNA is woven into our food,” Vang told us in September. “If you want to know our people, know our food.”