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Now open: Young Joni

The restaurateur behind Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza has opened a Northeast eatery.

Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza owner Ann Kim has opened her next restaurant, this time a pizza and Korean-fusion concept called Young Joni in Northeast Minneapolis.

The restaurant and its rather secretive bar, located in the Sheridan neighborhood next door to Dangerous Man Brewing Co., are named for the mothers of Kim and partner Conrad Leifur.

And the personal connection doesn’t stop at the name. In the separate bar in the back of the building — its entrance is in the alleyway just beyond a red neon sign — the cocktail menu, led by Adam Gorski (formerly of La Belle Vie), doubles as a photo album of family photos and the 1970s-style décor is reminiscent of a family cabin. Water even comes in vintage “The Smurfs” glasses.

The menu in the back bar at Young Joni
The menu in the back bar at Young Joni

In the main restaurant, Kim has a menu of approximately $10-$16 wood-fired pizzas that come out of a large copper oven similar to her other restaurants, but there’s also a lineup of unique Korean-inspired grilled dishes. On top of that, there is a selection of salads and appetizers, from a persimmon and beet salad to Thai sausage, which is unique to Young Joni.

The roughly 140-seat restaurant joins a popular stretch of the Sheridan neighborhood that’s home to the Sheridan Room (formerly the longstanding Modern Cafe), the Ritz Theater and Northeast Social.

Young Joni, located at 165 13th Ave. NE, is open from 4 p.m.–11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m.–midnight on Friday, noon–midnight on Saturday and noon–­10 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Monday.