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Banh Appetit brings fast-casual Vietnamese to Dinkytown

Oct 8, 2019, 4:23pm CDT


Sherman Ho Remember the banh mi sandwiches from Bun Mi, the former Stadium Village restaurant that closed in 2016? They're back at owner Sherman Ho's new restaurant, Banh Appetit, located on the ground floor of The Marshall student apartment building in Dinkytown. The owner of former Stadium Village restaurant Bun Mi has rebranded the concept and is planning a comeback in Dinkytown. Banh Appetit had its soft opening Oct. 8 at 511 14th Ave. SE on the ground floor of The Marshall, a 317-unit student apartment building. Owner Sherman Ho said he basically put a new name on the menu he served for eight years at Bun Mi. Both Bun Mi and Village Wok, the 30-year-old restaurant run by Ho’s parents, closed in 2016 to make way for construction of The Hub Minneapolis, a 26-story, 431-unit apartment tower. The Hub opened in 2018. “We wanted to go back in our original spot, but the rent was astronomical over there,” Ho said. Ho worked with Marshall Nguyen, vice president of Caspian Group, a commercial real estate firm, to explore potential sites for a new restaurant, including several downtown, before landing on the Dinkytown space. Lauren Kessler of Colliers International represented the landlord on the deal. The fast-casual Banh Appetit serves its version of Vietnamese street food, which includes an array of banh mi sandwiches. Sandwich fillings like lemongrass chicken are also available in wraps or on top of vermicelli noodles in a bowl. Sides include French fries, spring rolls, pot stickers and teriyaki wings. Ho said he took some time for himself after Bun Mi closed, traveling to California to visit his parents and testing recipes for Banh Appetit. His father, Jackson Ho, was in town to help with the new restaurant opening. “We’ve had a lot of old customers inquiring. Some people have visited who missed our place from before,” Ho said. Ho said plans to open additional Bun Mi locations were shelved when he had to shutter the Stadium Village store. But depending on how things go in Dinkytown, he may consider one or two more locations for Banh Appetit. The restaurant is open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. seven days a week.

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