During this time of thankfulness, when everyone returns to their families for big meals and holiday traditions, it’s really a time of “returning to our roots.” Whether it’s reconnecting with family or being back in our hometown, the togetherness of the holidays brings us back.
Though some people, through a sheer commitment to where they came from, make it their business to return to those roots. Take Khagendra Gurung for example - owner of Himchuli-Highlands Indian & Nepali Cuisine, alongside two other restaurants in the heart of Denver.
Mr. Gurung, a Colorado resident since 2002 and a true supporter of the Denver community, chose to settle down in Evergreen before bringing his cuisine to the city. He launched his first Indian and Nepali restaurant, Cuisine of the Himalayas, in Evergreen just five years after moving nearly 8,000 miles from his home country. Mr. Gurung now has over 20 years of hospitality experience and three restaurants in Denver alone, majorly thanks to his gritty work ethic.
Over the course of 14 years, while Mr. Gurung was building the foundation of his Indian and Nepali restaurant empire in Colorado, his weekly hours were off the charts. But those 84 hours per week would go on to bear fruit in the form of healthy expansion. Now, Mr. Gurung operates a handful of restaurants in the city: Himchuli-Highlands Indian & Nepali Cuisine off of West 32nd, Himchuli Rino off of Larimer, and MaZevo alongside Tennyson Street.
At each location, you’ll find dishes that are true to Nepalese and Indian roots. At Himchuli-Highlands specifically, staples such as the Masala with authentic spices, Vindaloo for Goa natives, or their classic curry with onions and tomatoes can be found alongside fusion starters such as the Punjabi Wings. And as for their bread selection, it doesn’t miss a beat. There are 13 bread options to choose from, four of them being whole wheat - and the Coconut seems to be a fan favorite.
Thanks to Mr. Gurung’s skill in the kitchen and business savvy, he’s able to offer 70 jobs across three restaurants. And as mentioned previously, he’s keen on giving back to his home community in Katunge, Dhading with a range of social support projects.
First, he built a drinking water tank which provided clean drinking water to a village of 300 families. He then bought an ambulance for the local community hospital in Katunge to give the public quick access to healthcare. Finally, his financial support for the Katunge school system has helped local children in his home village receive improved education.
Stop by Himchuli-Highlands Indian & Nepali Cuisine off of West 32nd Avenue for a truly traditional Nepalese meal, or visit himchulidenver.com to browse their menu first. Or, visit his other two locations: Himchuli Rino and MaZevo, also in Denver.