Our History

The History of Lotus Restaurant

Lotus Restaurant history dates back to 1983, when a well-known Vietnamese couple, Tri and Le Nguyen, opened the first Lotus location in Calhoun Square. Tri and Le were known as generous and community- focused leaders within the Vietnamese immigrant community in Minneapolis. Building off their flagship location in Calhoun Square, Tri and Le supported the Vietnamese families that worked in their restaurant to open locations of their own.


History Continued...

The Nguyen’s, who owned the Downtown location, had immigrated to Minnesota in 1981 as Vietnamese refugees when their oldest son, Yoom, was 2 years old. Yoom and his brothers grew up in South Minneapolis and Uptown, and their childhood memories centered on community and family in the Lotus restaurants. Lotus Downtown sustained beyond 2007, despite the closing of Tri and Le’s Calhoun Square hub, due to the invested commitment of brothers; Yoom, Toom, Hung and Joey, who had joined their parents to run the restaurant in 2005.

History Continued...

Lotus Downtown was known as the “take-out” location and had only a few dining in tables. Yoom, Toom, Hung and Joey made the decision to formally join and invest in the family business. As a result, Lotus Downtown and Maple Grove climbed into its present day success. In 2017 the Lotus returned to Uptown Minneapolis expanding their Vietnamese fare.

Family Values

The original founders, Tri and Le’s family values and customer service principles remain at the core of the mission, as do their original Lotus recipes. Sustained quality, attention to detail and innovation has been credited to Van Vo, also known as Mama Lotus. Her influence guides the next generation Lotus brand. The Uptown location has particular sentimental value as the Nguyen’s continue to lay down roots to keep tradition alive in the place they know as home, for future generations.