The owners of downtown Raleigh’s world-renowned Brewery Bhavana and Bida Manda are no strangers to making major headlines.
In 2014, Bida Manda landed on OpenTable’s coveted Best Restaurants in America list. In 2017, Bon Appetit crowned Brewery Bhavana as one of the best new restaurants of the year, and in 2018, Forbes named the restaurant as one of the ten coolest places to eat in the world. And earlier this spring, Brewery Bhavana was also anointed by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the fifteen most beautiful breweries on the planet.
Then on Monday, The News & Observer announced that Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, co-owners of the two Moore Square institutions, will open a third location, Luang Prabang, at The Dillon in Raleigh in 2020, which will no doubt unleash yet another maelstrom of Nolintha-related content—like this article you’re reading now.
Named for their hometown in Laos, the brother and sister duo will open Luang Prabang on the spacious, glass-walled ninth floor of The Dillon in Raleigh’s highly sought-after Warehouse District, which is home to other newly opened fine-dining eateries like O-Ku Sushi, Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Oak Steakhouse. The Dillon also recently welcomed the Triangle’s fourth Weaver Street Market, a local co-op that has served the region for over thirty years.
As the N&O reports, the focus of the Nolinthas’ new restaurant features food cooked over small charcoals, a Laotian style of “night cooking” typically found on the streets. The 5,000-square-foot dining room—that’s bigger than both Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana combined—will include a spacious outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the downtown Raleigh skyline. Construction is set to begin in the new year and the Nolinthas anticipate a fall 2020 opening.
The power duo has also partnered with Patrick Woodson, head brewer at Brewery Bhavana, for the project. They’ve also selected two other key players from Brewery Bhavana: Lon Bounsanga, who hails from Laos, as chef, and Jordan Hester as beverage manager.
Vansana told the N&O that he and his sister aspire to create a new restaurant that serves as a reflection of their childhood roots. “We wanted to acknowledge the place we came from, the place that has meant so much to us and our understanding of hospitality,” he said.
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