Gandhi Mahal, destroyed in May riots, will open a temporary restaurant while it rebuilds

The day after the restaurant burned, owner Ruhel Islam said "let my building burn" and called for justice for George Floyd.
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A destroyed Gandhi Mahal Restaurant on 27th Avenue South in Minneapolis. 

A destroyed Gandhi Mahal Restaurant on 27th Avenue South in Minneapolis. 

Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, which was destroyed during the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, has found a new temporary location. 

The restaurant at 3009 27th Ave. S burned down May 28, and the next day, Ruhel Islam, who owns Gandhi Mahal, said "let my building burn" as he called for justice for Floyd in a Facebook post that went viral

Gandhi Mahal has signed a lease for a temporary location in the Seward Neighborhood at 3025 E. Franklin Aveas it rebuilds its 27th Avenue restaurant, the restaurant wrote on Facebook. The hope is they'll be able to start serving customers from the temporary location by September. 

"Like many of you, we have been doing what we can to care for our neighbors and ease suffering caused to many in the days since we lost Brother George Floyd and so many other Black, Native and Brown lives. Each day we get closer to attaining Positive Peace," the restaurant's website says. "... We look forward to serving you curry in a hurry very soon."

A July 31 story by The Ostracon details the future plans for the restaurant, with Ruhel saying they'll "come back strong," but rebuilding may take four to five years. 

The new space will include more sustainability efforts and will likely incorporate physical distancing in the case of COVID-19 in the future. He also hopes to incorporate community housing at the site, The Ostracon reported. 

In a Go Fund Me page set up to help the restaurant with rebuilding costs, Hafsa Islam, Ruhel's daughter, said they weren't going to do a fundraiser, but they wanted to be able to replace their aquaponics system and continue to provide community space for people to gather. 

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Meanwhile, in the weeks since Floyd's May 25 death by now-former Minneapolis police officers, the Islams continue to call for justice and finding a new way forward, noting in Facebook posts that they've convened a group of community members to rebuild the area together. 

"We are deeply grateful for all the well wishes and support. Together we stand in resiliency and we are unwavering in our commitment to driving real and transformative solutions so that all of us can breathe and build a community that welcomes all and where every life matters," Ruhel said in a June 29 Facebook post

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