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Mar 22, 2012 01:09 PM

Mai Village

Mai Village doesn't move me very much one way or the other, but it sounds like they're having financial problems. If you're interested in the history of the restaurant and its owner or in their current situation, here's more info:

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  1. Mai Village's food has been so mediocre for so long. There are so many better choices for great Vietnamese food.

    1. Just read the article. This woman got terrible business advice when she spent a fortune on the remodel. But also, it sure would be interesting to know how much free money and cheap money she got from the federal, state and local governments.

      In the end, though, it's her fault. The quality of the food declined. Nobody wants to watch koi in a fake stream and pay for bad food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

        I was going to write something along the same lines, but didn't want to appear insensitive. Now that you did it first, I'll chip in! The food I've had at Mai Village has been mediocre at best. The service is what you would expect at cheaper Asian restaurants, which is not a compliment. I never got a sense of Vietnamese "high culture" when going to Mai Village. I know it's very hard to create a successful restaurant, and I sympathize with Mai. But I also understand why people go somewhere else for dinner.

        1. re: galewskj

          Hate to pile on, but I have to agree with the above posts. We haven't been to Mai Village in years. Overpriced, underwhelming, and my wife (who is South Asian) always reacted badly to the food.

      2. Food was good when they were a hole in the wall, always busy too. When they moved to the new place, once the novelty of it wore off, you were left to realize the food had gone severely downhill. I stopped going years ago.
        Its a sad story of a bad business decision.

        1. Looks as though the end is near. They need $150,000 by October 24.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ChillyDog

            It would be sad to see it close, but considering they have already been GIVEN $600,000, maybe now is the time.

            1. re: SmartCookie

              I just hope they don't name light rail construction as the "cause of death". Construction may have played a part in keeping customers away, but it has done so for many other restaurants along University, none of which apparently are teetering on the edge like MV.

              Agreed with the other posters; when I want Vietnamese food, I *never* think of MV. There's no real reason to.

            2. re: ChillyDog

              This bums me out, actually. It's not my favorite place, but I hate to see an indie go down, especially when some light-rail chain vulture is going to swoop in and take the space. Culver's already moved in. I'd hate to see who'd move in next.

              It's been awhile since I've been. Maybe I'll give them another shot.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                You're right. The space is large and very well placed. It will be taken over by a chain for sure if MV goes down.

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Parasole has to be drooling. The "don't be coy" pond. Spring, winter, summer and fall rolls? And don't get me started on the words "pho" and "bun". The script writes itself.

                  That said, it seems like there are a couple of places that could take advantage of bigger digs and a liquor license. A second outpost of Lemongrass might be a nice fit.

                  1. re: kevin47

                    Nobody can dumb it down and jack up the price better than Parasole. Remember when their business model used to be to take a genre and execute on it to the highest levels possible? Those were the days.

                    Personally, I'd vote for Ngon to get the space.

                    1. re: Db Cooper

                      I'm an unabashed basher of Parasole, but yet, I find myself here playing devil's advocate. Yes, there are plenty of their holding that I'm not a fan of - Burger Jones....well, that's about it. The rest are in the you get what you get vain. Chino? Tacky to the extreme. Yeah, that's the point. Manny's? We can argue about what's the best steak in MPLS, but it's still in the conversation (top 5, minimum). Mozza Mia? First time there, hated it. Went back 3 times, and it was solid pizzas all three time. Uptown Caf is light years better than its main competition across the street. And Salut....i'm of French heritage, and I was highly skeptical. First time there, I didn't like it. Other 3, yeah, it was good. Meritage, it wasn't. But then again, Meritage and Vincent's aren't very approachable. Salut is.

                      Is it stellar dining? No. Is it fun dining? Yes. Personally (and many of you might be appalled by this), but if Parasole does come in to that space, maybe they'll bring more people into an area that doesn't get a lot of traffic. I'm not saying that every neighborhood needs to have a dumbed down restaurant to be successful, but that area of U Ave needs something.

                      1. re: foreverhungry

                        "But then again, Meritage and Vincent's aren't very approachable. Salut is."

                        Really? I have found both places to be very welcoming on several occasions. Salut as well, but it's not on the level of Meritage or Vincent...not that it's trying to be, but still...

              2. Maybe it's time to call in Gordon Ramsey?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Fudist

                  Mai Village...mediocre food, over-decorated space, too expensive, and did not have a loyal following due to this to survive the light rail. A contributing factor, likely, but if they did not have such high overhead and lousy food they could have made it.

                  1. re: docfood

                    Is it weird that I read that in Ramsay's voice? ;)