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Headed By The Next Generation, Family-Run Lotus Returns To Uptown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A family-owned business is returning to its Uptown roots.

The Lotus in Downtown Minneapolis is expanding, opening up a second location on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown.

It's a return to the familiar for the Nguyen family.

Trung Nguyen and his wife, Van, started out working at the original Lotus in Uptown in 1983.

They bought Lotus downtown in 1984.

Now, their four sons will take over running the new restaurant that promises to offer more than just a great bowl of pho.

"Family is very important to us," said Yoom Nguyen, the family's eldest son.

For 33 years, two generations of the Nguyen family have served up Vietnamese food to their guests in downtown Minneapolis.

"Our parents worked too hard for us, so we knew we had to come back and pay our dues there," Yoom said.

It's his generation's turn to carry on a family tradition by expanding to the new space in Uptown.

"Our parents gave us the opportunity to be where we're at, and it's our turn to return that to our kids," Yoom said.

A new generation of Nguyen will bring what worked so well in downtown to Uptown.

The Lotus is known for good food...and that won't change.

"Mom is the architect of all the food," Yoom said. "Nothing is changing. The ingredients are the same. She has the final say in all the foods."

The new space features a bar and seats 180. Add in the patio and the occupancy doubles.

"The roof is retractable," Yoom said. "[The patio] can be 100 percent enclosed. The floors are heated, so we can actually control the temperature in there."

Curator Tricia Huering was brought in to put the finishing touches on Vietnamese art that hangs throughout the new restaurant.

The Nguyens want this to be a family-friendly place, and they plan on using their parking lot to bring the Uptown Community together.

"Farmers market on one day, other days I want to focus on arts, music is going to be huge here," Nguyen said.

For Yoom, Toom, Hoom and Joey, the new restaurant is an extension of their parents' dream.

Now the parents of nine children will also learn the true meaning of family, community and giving back.

The Lotus Uptown will have its grand opening Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.

Food will be served all the way up to closing.

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