Community Planning & Economic Development
Gandhi Mahal: Leader in Restaurant Sustainability
With the goals of bringing the neighborhood together and operating a 100 percent self-sustainable restaurant featuring Indian cuisine from locally sourced food, Ruhel Islam opened Gandhi Mahal at 3009 27th Avenue South in 2008. Nearly all the food the restaurant uses is locally sourced. Fresh produce comes from scattered community gardens in the neighborhood and farmers’ markets as well as directly from the garden growing in the restaurant’s basement.
In addition to growing lettuce, tomatoes and herbs, Ruhel has worked with the DNR to set up a tilapia tank that allows him to grow and harvest an estimated 100 tilapia every 90 days right in his own restaurant. The next project is to renovate the roof into a garden space as well. To understand Ruhel’s vision, you need to look no further than the impressive mural across the front window of the restaurant and adjoining community room. The mural is a depiction of how Ruhel envisions the community gathering together to share local food and traditions, to be one. As a matter of fact “mahal” means gathering place. The mural was installed in 2011 as part of an overall façade improvement to the restaurant through the City of Minneapolis Great Streets program administered through the Lake Street Council. Ruhel says that he has been impressed working with the City and nothing is impossible to achieve here.
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Last updated Aug 13, 2014