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Pizzeria Lola’s Ann Kim plans new restaurant for northeast Minneapolis

Owner Ann Kim with the Hello Rita, her take on the classic margherita with garlic, basil, and oregano

Owner Ann Kim with the Hello Rita, her take on the classic margherita with garlic, basil, and oregano

Ann Kim, the woman beloved for her impeccable pizza at Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza, is opening a third restaurant in northeast Minneapolis this summer. Adding to the anticipation of her fans is the fact that while the new place will indeed offer pizza, the menu will also include Korean-inspired grilled meats and shareable vegetable-centric plates.

Kim and her husband and business partner, Conrad Leifur, named the new restaurant Young Joni after their mothers (Kim’s and Leifur’s respectively), who the couple say exemplify the type of hospitality they’ll bring to the new restaurant, combining Young’s love of cooking and family-style dining and Joni’s fondness for a well-crafted cocktail and a good party. Adam Gorski, formerly of La Belle Vie, will design the drink menu.

The new restaurant, next door to Dangerous Man Brewery, will be substantially larger than the couples’ other two restaurants, with 140 seats. There will also be a more intimate 40-seat “back bar” with a separate alleyway entrance – and a piano. Gorski will create a separate cocktail menu for the back bar featuring drinks based on rotating themes.

The space will feature two wood-fired ovens that are “the heart and soul of the restaurant,” says Kim, and a handful of seats will be available around the hearth for diners who want a more up close and personal experience. The larger of the ovens will be clad in the same copper as the beauty at Pizzeria Lola and will be used for wood-fired pizzas.

The second oven will run at a lower temperature, and be used to cook sharable plates, with a focus on vegetables. There will also be a custom-made grill for cooking Korean-inspired meats served saam style, with fresh lettuce, herbs, saam jang (a thick, spicy sauce), and kimchi; or taco style with handmade tortillas, fire-roasted salsas, and hot sauce. The second oven and the grill will be covered in handmade Japanese tiles.

“Cooking with fire is exciting, vibrant, fun, unpredictable, and alive — just like life,” says Kim.

Ann Kim mixes up a batch of kimchee. Her new restaurant will have more Korean specialties, like barbecued meats and pickled veggies.

Ann Kim mixes up a batch of kimchee. Her new restaurant will have more Korean specialties, like barbecued meats and pickled veggies.

Opening summer 2016

Young Joni

165 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis