FARGO-If someone would have asked Saru Pokharel and Ben Dangi a year ago if they would ever open a second restaurant, their answer would have been a resounding "no."
The natives of Nepal were still trying to manage the success of Everest Tikka House, a restaurant they had recently opened in the Moorhead Center Mall.
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"When we opened this place, we said, 'We're never going to do another restaurant,' " Pokharel said. "Everest Tikka House was up and going from the first day we opened."
But as time when on, a second location seemed more doable.
Dangi said they realized Everest Tikka House was mainly serving residents of Moorhead and downtown Fargo. A second location would make it possible to reach people in south and West Fargo as well.
An opportunity to do so came along when Bangkok Corner closed its doors last month. In August, the partners plan to open Himalayan Yak in its place in the 25th Street Market, 1450 25th St. S.
The restaurant will serve many of the Nepali and Indian dishes like naan and momo that customers have grown to love at Everest Tikka House.
"We're keeping those, but we'll do a few different kinds of naan. We'll probably do rosemary-flavored or cinnamon and apple. We're trying to mix it up, but still keep it authentic," Pokharel said.
In place of a salad bar, the Himalayan Yak will feature what's known as a chaat bar of yogurt, chutney, spices, garbanzo beans and vegetables. A standard recipe will be posted, but diners will have the opportunity to customize their dish to make it sweeter or spicier.
"It's a popular street food back home," Pokharel explained. "When you go to a downtown area, you just grab it from one of the street vendors. That's the experience we want to offer our customers."
Pokharel said while they're excited to open the Himalayan Yak, they are concerned that a number of restaurants have failed in that location over the years, including Yuki Hana Grill and Sushi.
As long as they can get people in the door to try it once, she's not worried.
"We're pretty sure after they try our food, they'll come back," she said.
Other comings and goings
The Himalayan Yak is not the only change for the 25th Street Market this year. Vintage Point, a gift store featuring Pride of Dakota and Minnesota-made products, expanded into the space formerly occupied by Panache Hair and Nail Consultants after it closed in December.
This month, Greg Stephens, owner of The Crown Jewels, also announced plans to move out of the strip mall. The store will anchor a strip mall he's building in south Fargo that will be known as Crown Plaza.
Chad Spiry, manager of the 25th Street Market, said a new tenant has already expressed interest in that space.
"We're 100 percent full and we're really proud and happy about the tenants here," Spiry said. "We have a great mix, so it's working."