Chef Yia Vang stands in front of Union Hmong Kitchen on opening day of the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. Credit: Drew Arrieta | Sahan Journal

This story comes to you from MPR News through a partnership with Sahan Journal.

Acclaimed chef Yia Vang has announced plans to open a new restaurant in northeast Minneapolis, in the space soon to be vacated by the Dangerous Man Brewing taproom.

In an announcement Monday morning, Vang said he aims to open Vinai next spring in the Northeast Bank Building, on Second Street Northeast.

Vinai — named after the refugee camp in Thailand where Vang was born — “is meant to serve as an homage to the heritage of Vang’s family while also continuing to share Hmong culture, traditions, and stories with the Twin Cities community and beyond,” according to the announcement.

Vang, who also operates Union Hmong Kitchen in Minneapolis, had first announced plans for Vinai in early 2020 — before the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been Vinai events and pop-up dinners as work continued on securing funding and finding a permanent home.

“The road to opening Vinai has been a much longer one than we expected, but we are finally at a point where we have a home,” Vang said in Monday’s announcement. “It was a roller coaster of a process but we’ve learned so much in that time and we’ve been so thankful for the patience and support that we’ve been shown over the years.”

The building where Vinai will be located has been home to the Dangerous Man taproom for a decade. The owners of the brewery announced last week they’ll be closing the taproom on October 21, though they’ll keep brewing beer at a separate production facility in Maple Lake, Minnesota.

“This restaurant is about carrying on my parents’ legacy,” Vang said. “But it’s also about carrying on a piece of Dangerous Man’s legacy, and the legacy of the community here.”

Vang will be a part-owner of the building, located in a neighborhood with other popular and acclaimed restaurants.

“We love the neighborhood — and we feel so lucky to join the strong community that these restaurants and Dangerous Man have cultivated over the years,” Vang said.