Winter 2024

Business Borrower Feature: Bali Asian Cuisine

Nevi Mariadi is not only one of Duluth’s newest restaurateurs. She’s also introducing a cuisine that’s new to many local palates: Indonesian.

Bali Asian Cuisine, which opened this fall in the lively Lincoln Park crafts district, brings the traditional, mouth-watering flavors of Mariadi’s home country to northeast Minnesota.

Her unique Asian Fusion menu is a combination of Balinese dishes like chicken sate with peanut sauce, bakwan jagung (crispy corn cakes), and rendang (savory beef stew, pictured) with other Asian fare such as sushi and ramen. The warm brick-and-wood space features seating for 85, a sushi counter and a full bar.

Bringing the concept to life was a group effort. Her partner, Kelly Reinarz, did most of the interior finishing work and members of Nevi's family traveled from across the country to help her prepare for the opening.

Funding the start-up costs, build-out, and equipment was also a joint undertaking. Although Mariadi has 15+ years of experience – she immigrated to the U.S. at age 18 and opened her first restaurant in Colorado in 2014 – like many start-ups, Bali Asian relied on owner equity and regional nontraditional financing to get off the ground.

The Northland Foundation’s business lending team worked closely with Mariadi to provide financing for equipment, inventory, initial working capital and other soft costs.

"When leasing a space it can be hard to get financing. Without this kind of support, I could not have made my dream come true. I am so grateful." –Nevi Mariadi

Northland was able to utilize the Minnesota Loan Guarantee Program (MNLGP) for the deal, a state-administered program that guarantees 80% of the principal for qualifying small business loans made by MNLGP enrolled lenders.

Just recently Mariadi collaborated once again with the Northland Foundation, this time for technical assistance with preparing her pitch for a Kiva crowd-funded loan. She successfully funded an $8,000 loan in a matter of days toward the purchase of a larger cooler.

“This was a neat project for us—one that ticked many boxes,” explained Amanda Vuicich, Small Business Lender. “Bali Asian Cuisine fills a niche in the local dining scene, repurposes an older building, provides jobs, contributes to the tax base, and is a great reminder of how diverse people and cultures add so much to our communities.”

Bali Asian Cuisine is located at 1931 W. Superior Street in Duluth and is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 9:00 p.m.

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Working with northeast MN counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

202 West Superior St., Suite 800
Duluth, MN 55802
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