Union Hmong Kitchen plans new pop-up restaurant in Minneapolis

Noodles are display on the table
"Slurp Pop Up Noodle Shop" is a new pop-up restaurant created by Yia Vang. It will only serve six dishes and is focused on Hmong food and flavors.
Courtesy of Lauren Cutshall

A new Hmong restaurant is coming to Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood — for a limited time.

From the mind of Chef Yia Vang, known for his restaurant Union Hmong Kitchen, Slurp Pop Up Noodle Shop will open its doors in January.

The shop will serve a limited menu of six items, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, and will focus on Hmong food and flavors. Half will be “brothy”, and the other half will be “saucy.”

“One of the philosophies that we always talk about is you cook from who you are,” Vang said.

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The idea started a few years ago when Vang partnered with local breweries to produce “noodle only” pop-ups during the winter.

The concept of Slurp is also an homage to Vang’s mother’s cooking on Sundays after church.

“[My] mom always had this big cauldron of noodles ready.” Vang said. “And it was the way that we were able to feed a big group with very minimal ingredients.”

The location of the pop-up restaurant, 901 W. Lake St., has served as a satellite kitchen for Vang’s other ventures, including Union Hmong Kitchen and his planned restaurant Vinai. Prior to that it was home to Mucci’s Italian’s Uptown location.

After Slurp finishes its limited run, Vang plans to use the space for future events and pop-up experiences.

2022 has proven to be a big year for Vang, with the launch of his podcast “Hmonglish,” and his appearance on Iron Chef on Netflix.

“I feel very blessed because I have an incredible team,” Vang said. “We wouldn't be able to do it without our team.”

For those eager to “slurp” up some Hmong-style noodles, the pop-up restaurant will be open from Jan. 4 until mid-spring in 2023.

Planned operating hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It'll be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.