Lilly’s Asian Cafe Opens New Location in Two Harbors

Lilly used to own the Vietnamese Lantern but when she was forced to leave, she found the new space in downtown Two Harbors to reopen as Lilly's Asian Cafe.

TWO HARBORS, Minn. – Lilly’s Asian Cafe is up and running in Two Harbors.

“Lilly is the owner of the old Vietnamese Lantern that was down the street on the landing, and that changed hands so that required her to leave. And now she came to us and said can you change your building into a restaurant and we thought sure why not,” building owner Marilyn Wangen said.

The cafe has been open for less than a month and Lilly has been keeping very busy with a long line of customers ready for her popular items.

“We’re excited as all get out because we’ve been missing Lilly’s food since I think January of this year. We’re going on six months without our favorite Asian restaurant, for me my favorite Asian restaurant in the are,” customer Leo Babeu said.

Lilly’s Asian Cafe serves a variety of traditional Asian food.

“I’m both a curry fan and a pad thai fan and I just bounce back and forth,” Babeu said.

Due to COVID-19, Lilly’s Asian Cafe is only doing curbside pickup and outside dining.

“We’ve got plans to add booths and tables and chairs when she’s ready to do in house seating,” Wangen said.

While the pandemic has caused issues for many businesses trying to reopen, it caused an extra long wait for Lilly to open again.

“We have a single parent owner who had to be dislocated because of another business moving into the building she was in, and the chances of her reopening were really, they were lower chances of reopening with COVID for someone like Lilly and the fact that she did it is a testament to her character,” Babeu said.

With Lilly’s Asian Cafe in the middle of downtown Two Harbors, located at 826 7th Ave., many are hoping the cafe will now be an even more popular spot for both residents and those who make it a point to visit the small town.

I think she’ll be really popular, she makes really good food and I think it’s a nice touch, a different flavor for Two Harbors,” Wangen said.

“I think we have to be grateful for small treasures in a time like this and I hope the picnic tables are full all summer with people stopping by,” Babeu added.

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