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Uptown's KinhDo Restaurant struggles to stay open for the first time in more than 30 years

A GoFundMe has been set up to help restaurant owner Dathao Phan and her family catch up on their rent.

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s been a staple at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and West 28th Street in Uptown since 1986.

"Gosh we’ve been here 35-plus years," said Dathao Phan. 

But now, decades later, KinhDo Restaurant owner Dathao Phan and her family find themselves at a crossroad of whether or not they can afford to remain open.

"We’ve struggled to pay the full rent because, you know, business is not like how it used to be, and so this is the first time that we’ve been behind on rent," said Phan. 

Dathao and her husband inherited the restaurant from her parents in 2015. 

Phan's parents moved to the United States from Vietnam in pursuit of the American dream, but a neighborhood plagued with crime and civil unrest, while trying to recover during a pandemic, has made it hard to make ends meet. 

Several business in Uptown now sit vacant as a result. 

"The previous landlords were very gracious with us. They said pay what you can, let’s get through this pandemic, but unfortunately they did sell the building," said Phan. 

That sale, Phan says, came with an increase in rent from the new landlord. 

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"We are behind our January and February rent right now, like $14,000," said Phan. 

That debt prompted Phan’s son Jonathan to start a GoFundMe page as a last resort to save his family’s legacy and livelihood. 

"He did that without us knowing, it was a total shock for us," explained Phan. She went on to say, "he did sat us down and said this is what I want to do for you, I need to do this for you because I need to do something, I don’t want to see you struggle anymore.”

Sentiments that carry a heavy weight. 

"We want to be there for the future of Uptown, we want to see Uptown change...I don’t want to close because I feel like if I close it’s a failure on my part," said Phan as she teared up. 

Phan says they have about a month before the have to decide whether or not to stay or go, but their hope is to stay in their current location, serving the people of the Twin Cities. 

She also mentioned they received two PPP loans during the pandemic, but those funds were designated for payroll. 

If you'd like to support KinhDo Restaurant, click here.

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