A co-founder of Bun Mi Sandwiches, a campus staple, has plans to reopen the eatery in Dinkytown after the former location in Stadium Village shut down two years ago.
Re-branded as Bánh Appétit, owner and original co-founder Sherman Ho said the new restaurant’s menu will be similar to the old location. The new restaurant will open at 511 14th Ave. SE. Ho said he is still working with the City of Minneapolis for approvals, but aims to finish construction by mid-April.
Ho said he hopes the restaurant’s nostalgia factor will bring back memories for alumni and past customers. In addition to banh mi sandwiches, Ho said the restaurant will specialize on a new mystery item.
“We do have a new item that I’m going to put up, but it’s still under wraps,” Ho said. “We’re looking to perfect it. We’re hoping that it’ll be kind of a new hit.”
The banh mi sandwich’s portability and unique flavor combination of Korean-inspired beef, Filipino-inspired pork and Thai-inspired chicken add to its appeal, Ho said.
Bun Mi Sandwiches closed in August 2016 to pave way for construction of The Hub Apartments in Stadium Village. Other campus staples on the 600 block of Washington Avenue Southeast like Big 10 Restaurant and Bar, Village Wok and Espresso Exposé also shut down.
The area is excited to see new businesses opening, said Kent Kramp, president of the Dinkytown Business Alliance and owner of Raising Cane’s in Dinkytown.
“Anybody that’s willing to open up a business within our district, we’re gonna be happy for them,” Kramp said. “We’re going to do everything we can to support all the surrounding businesses.”
Ho said he is not concerned by saturation of Asian restaurants in Dinkytown due to the range of options Bánh Appétit will offer.
“It’s a different type of sandwich shop as opposed to [what] a regular type of Vietnamese sandwich shop would offer. [We have] a different variety that we’re able to do,” Ho said.
University of Minnesota 2015 alumnus Tom Johnson said he frequented Bun Mi Sandwiches, calling it the best restaurant in Minneapolis.
“The real star of Bun Mi [Sandwiches] is their spicy mayo and fries,” Johnson said. “There’s just something about their fries that was absolutely perfect.”
Johnson said he is glad to see new housing developments like The Hub on campus, but is still sad to watch classic venues leave as a result.
“I try not to get too sentimental. I am glad they are bringing back some of these favorites though,” Johnson said. "I think overall [the campus area is] getting better."
Tom Johnson is a former Minnesota Daily employee.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the future address of Bánh Appétit. It will be located at 511 14th Ave. SE in Dinkytown.