Gandhi Mahal has found a temporary home, while the restaurant — destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots — rebuilds.
Owner Ruhel Islam has signed a lease on the former Chef Shack Ranch, on the corner of S. 31st and Franklin avenues, according to Gandhi Mahal’s Facebook page.
As the E. Lake St. Indian restaurant smoldered after a night of unrest following the police killing of George Floyd, Islam’s daughter Hafsa overhead her father saying, “let my building burn, justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail.” Hafsa posted the quote on Facebook and those words — and Gandhi Mahal’s plight — reverberated nationwide.
Since then, the Islam family and community members in the area of the original restaurant, close to the fire-damaged Third Precinct, have been meeting to come up with a plan for rebuilding.
“There is a lot to be done but we as a community have hope that we will all return to our little corner in the world,” Hafsa wrote. She also noted that delays in demolishing the remainder of the building were due to its costs, between $100,000 and $200,000.
“It’s utterly disgusting that the state has all of us following these policies, given the situation ...,” she wrote. “We are coming together to rebuild and come back, we have come together in order to support each other through this very difficult project, but we will get through it.”
Ruhel Islam estimated the rebuild could take three or four years. In the meantime, the restaurant will reopen in its temporary new home by September.