When chef Ann Ahmed announced last month that she was opening a new restaurant in south Minneapolis, the project didn't have a name.
Well, initially it did: Spice Market, but Ahmed quickly dropped that connection to star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's New York City restaurant of the same name. That Spice Market closed in 2016.
Ahmed has settled on a name, one that resonates with her heritage. She's calling her new enterprise Khâluna.
"In the Lao language, it's a simple translation, to 'please,' " she said. "But it comes from the Buddhist teaching which means 'compassion.' This is the name I personally can connect with, and it's a name in which I want to operate my business. It's my belief, and how I want to share it with the community."
Khâluna (pronounced khah-loon-ah) is going into the former Harriet's Inn (4000 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.). The restaurant and bar will also feature a retail component, and that flexible space — with its own entry — will also be used as a gathering place for private events and cooking classes. Ahmed doesn't have a lot of food-and-drink details, and no opening date has been set.
Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib