Eco-friendly restaurant opens in NE

Gorkha Palace, opened earlier this month, aims to reduce waste and go green.

by Sarah Nienaber

The Northeast Park nieghborhood is now offering the cuisine of Nepal, India and Tibet at the areaâÄôs latest edition, Gorkha Palace.

Owners Rashmi Bhattachan and Sarala Kattel opened their doors Sept. 6 and say that business is going well. The restaurant, located on Fourth Street Northeast, will celebrate its grand opening in October.

Along with offering a variety of dishes that remain mostly below the $12 mark, Bhattachan and Kattel have teamed up with Eureka Recycling to become one of the first restaurants of their kind to go green.

The restaurant composts all food, paper products, cans and bottles to reduce the amount of waste produced. The businessâÄô take-out containers are also 100 percent compostable.

“It creates an awareness among the customers,” Bhattachan said. “ItâÄôs a small effort, but every little bit counts.”

First-year student Katie Follett agreed that the green efforts being made by Gorkha Palace are beneficial.

“I think itâÄôs cool that they are promoting green business near campus because the University [of Minnesota] does, too,” she said.

The owners have also made an effort to bring the freshest taste to their meals by perusing local farmers markets, which is where business originated for the two.

In the future, Gorkha Palace hopes to get fresher by collaborating with local farmers who will grow their ingredients directly, Bhattachan said. The restaurant currently offers a lunch buffet with more than 20 items that vary daily.

They havenâÄôt done much in the way of advertising, either, relying mostly on word-of-mouth from those who have eaten there.

Other businesses in Northeast are happy to have a new neighbor. Jeremy Jaros, a bartender at The Bulldog Bar and Restaurant, says that he hasnâÄôt been to Gorkha Palace yet but will likely visit soon.

Bhattachan says they are pretty confident about the food and service offered in her small, but warmly decorated, restaurant. Right now the focus is to reach out to students by offering 10 percent off the lunch buffet price with a valid student identification card.

The future is promising to Bhattachan and Kattel. The two wish to expand business someday by finding space somewhere in Dinkytown.

“We want to bring fresh, local, healthy food [to Northeast],” Bhattachan said.