Nur B. Adam
Oishii Poké, soon to be the Mango Mango dessert shop, in Dinkytown as seen on Sunday, Dec. 1.
A new Dinkytown venture could be a fruitful addition to the area’s dessert offerings.
Mango Mango Dessert,a Hong Kong-inspired dessert restaurant specializing in mango flavors, will replace Oishii Poké by early next year. Those involved in bringing Mango Mango to Dinkytown said it will offer a unique product to the business landscape.
“We’re excited to bring something new to everybody to enjoy,” said Marshall Nguyen, real estate adviser to the shop’s owner, Sam Zheng. “It’s what people have been asking for.”
The dessert shop will likely open the first week of January.
The site currently houses Oishii Poké, which will close to make way for the dessert establishment. Oishii Poké owner Zheng, who also owns Bonchon next door, is turning the space into a franchise with Mango Mango.
New York-based Mango Mango currently has 26 locations across the United States, serving a variety of mango-flavored desserts: fresh fruit dessert cups with ice cream or rice balls, slushie drinks, slices of cake, waffles and crepes. Most items include mango flavors, while some have other fruit flavors.
The restaurant will have an atmosphere conducive to studying, well-fit for Dinkytown’s student population, Nguyen said.
“They can come and study and eat desserts while they study, this is a great opportunity to bring something new to the marketplace,” he said. “The best place to start is Dinkytown.”
Student and mango fan Julia Whitman said she is looking forward to having a new dessert concept in Dinkytown, especially one featuring mangoes.
“It would be sweet,” she said. “[Dinkytown] definitely changes with trends … I’m wondering if [the shop] does well, if more dessert places will come up.”
Other places offering desserts in Dinkytown include Insomnia Cookies, Wonders Ice Cream, which opened fall 2018, and the Purple Onion, which sells Grand Ole Creamery ice cream.
Besides adding a new dessert option to the area, the store’s ownership favored a switch from Oishii Poké because it will allow other poke restaurants in the area, like The Cove and JJ’s Poké, to thrive, Nguyen said.
Dinkytown is a good place for a concept like this, said Kent Kramp, owner of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers near the University of Minnesota campus.
“There’s a reason we built in Dinkytown, it’s such an awesome neighborhood,” he said. “It’s such an active community with students … it’s a good recipe for success.”