RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One Afghan Refugee is preparing to open another restaurant location in Henrico to continue to serve the community.
Owner and Chef, Hamidullah Noori opened The Mantu in 2019.
Since then he has helped Afghan Refugees like himself get jobs and other growth opportunities. He says since fleeing Afghanistan in 2015, this is an opportunity for him to help other families and refugees looking to create a new life here in Central Virginia.
“It wasn’t easy for us, but it was an opportunity for me to support our families, our people who are in need. Provide job opportunities to them, support them [in] their daily life,” Noori said.
Noori says his purpose in life is to serve and that is what is on his mind as soon as he wakes up every morning.
After noticing that Richmond did not offer a variety of Afghani cuisine, he opened The Mantu in Carytown, a fine dining restaurant.
When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan last year, Fort Lee became the first military base to welcome refugees. Since then, thousands of Afghan families have settled in Central Virginia.
Right now, he says he has 10 employees who are Afghan Refugees who have worked at this location since they arrived in August of last year.
Now, finishing touches are being done at their new Henrico location near Old Towne Shopping Center. The restaurant will be a dine-in market concept that allows patrons to grab what they want and go if they would like.
Noori says he will continue to serve a variety of Afghani dishes but he recommends everyone try The Mantu.
“The Mantu of course, that’s something which changed my life. It has two meanings, dumplings and also it means me and you. Which connects people, so I feel like we are connecting cultures,” he said.
The Mantu Market is preparing to open its doors on Monday to guests.