Vanvisa and Van Nolintha
NATIVES OF LUANG PRABANG, LAOS, SIBLINGS VANVISA AND VANSANA (VAN) ARE THE PROPRIETORS OF BELOVED RALEIGH RESTAURANTS BIDA MANDA AND BREWERY BHAVANA. THE LATTER OPENED IN MARCH '17 AND WAS RECENTLY NAMED IN THE TOP 10 BEST NEW RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA BY BON APPETIT, 10 COOLEST PLACES TO EAT IN THE WORLD BY FORBES, AND IN '18 BECAME A SEMI-FINALIST FOR THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION'S BEST NEW RESTAURANT AWARD.
THE DUO ANNOUNCED THEIR NEWEST CONCEPT YESTERDAY: LUANG PRABANG, A LAOTIAN GRILL AND GARDEN BAR ON THE ROOFTOP TERRACE OF THE DILLON, OPENING FALL 2020.
VANVISA AND VAN LIVE AND WORK IN DOWNTOWN RALEIGH AND THEIR RESTAURANTS ARE JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM THEIR HOME, LOCATED IN AN AREA FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE PRINCE HALL DISTRICT. THESE 4 CITY BLOCKS ARE RICH IN HISTORY - THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY HAS LIVED, WORKED, SOCIALIZED AND WORSHIPPED IN THE DISTRICT SINCE RECONSTRUCTION, AS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SHAW UNIVERSITY IN 1865 ATTRACTED NEWLY-FREED SLAVES AND OTHER AFRICAN AMERICANS. ADDITIONALLY, THE DISTRICT IS LOCATED A FEW BLOCKS SOUTH OF EAST HARGETT STREET, WHICH WAS HOME TO RALEIGH'S AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL DISTRICT DURING SEGREGATION.
THEIR HOUSE WAS BUILT IN THE EARLY 1900S AS THE HOME AND MEDICAL OFFICE OF DR. CLARK, PRINCE HALL DISTRICT'S MAIN PHYSICIAN.
'We honor the legacy of our historic home by intentionally separating what is new from what is old. It provides the contrast needed to reveal its past. We feel fortunate to be able to give the house new life while continuing that story and spirit of healing.'
WHO DO YOU LIVE WITH | My brother, Van Nolintha
WHAT'S YOUR SIGN | Libra and Rabbit for Chinese Zodiac!
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN THREE WORDS | “Simply Elevated Chic” says Kate Shields
THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB | Connecting with our guests and hearing about different life stories.
FAVORITE CITY | Barcelona
YOUR THREE FAVORITE THINGS IN THE HOUSE | The kitchen, reflective pool, and our Japanese maple tree.
ARTIST YOU CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF | The Avett Brothers
FAVORITE COCKTAIL | Margarita or tequila soda with a splash of lime juice!
I really like to cook at home. I love making big batches so I can share them with friends! You can always find thai chili, cured sour pork, and jasmine rice in my refridgerator.
shop chic pink dresses
WHO DO YOU LIVE WITH | My sister Vanvisa
WHAT'S YOUR SIGN | Sagitarius
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE MANTRA | Keep it tailored, keep it simple.
THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR WORK | Getting to be a part of creating a culture that is rooted in generosity, kindness, and service. The best part of my job is being reminded everyday Margaret Mead’s words, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
FAVORITE MEAL | All Lao noodle soups
GO-TO WEEKEND DESTINATION | Tulum
COCKTAIL OF CHOICE | A glass of Champagne or simply Titos and soda with lime
With the help of our friends at in situ studios here in Raleigh, our design process focused on natural light as the leading personality of our home.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR PERFECT WEEKEND | Sipping on a margarita by the ocean.
YOUR FAVORITE MEAL | Papaya salad with fried pork ribs and sticky rice!
HOW DO YOU UNWIND | Watching a show with my boyfriend Brian and my dog Spike, a Yorkie Terrier mix.
FAVORITE SONG RIGHT NOW | Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves
We want the architecture of our home to be a simple canvas to celebrate the art we love, the artifacts we collected from our travels, and a generous envelope for our friends and family to gather.
Shop favorite red dining chairs
LAST PLACE YOU TRAVELED TO | Old Orchard Creek in Lansing, NC. Ashe county is one of the most stunning places in the world and it’s only 4 hours away!
WHAT DID YOU BRING BACK | A sense of gratefulness
SMELL YOU LOVE | Lemongrass
DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS | Michelle and Barack Obama
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET COFFEE IN RALEIGH | Joe Kwon’s home
get the look - vanvisa and van's home
It’s very important to us that our home is a peaceful and tranquil resting place, a sanctuary from our busy lives.
SHOP STATEMENT EARRINGS
THE FARTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME | Interesting question. As an immigrant, home has always been a fluid concept. If Laos is home, then living in Raleigh is the farthest I have ever been from home. If Raleigh is home, then riding horses through the grassland in Mongolia may have been the farthest I have traveled to. For a long time, I have always thought that I don’t have a true home but I have come to embrace and celebrate the international nature of my life. With this spirit, home is everywhere.
FAVORITE HOTEL | I really cannot choose one! Here are three: Das Stue in Berlin, Satri House in Luang Prabang, The Siam in Bangkok
WHAT DO YOU BRING WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO | My grandmother’s ring and a notebook.
THREE FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT THE HOUSE | How light filled it is, how much our friends enjoy spending time in it, how close it is to everything we love.
FAVORITE FLOWER | Lotus
My favorite song to dance to is “Love on top” by Beyonce. It’s slower and perfect for swaying! And just about any sappy love song will put me in a good mood.
SHOP THE OUTFIT
get the look: Blue and white powder room
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO AN ASPIRING ENTREPRENEUR | Surround yourself with the people that feel like sunshine especially when it’s dark and stormy.
WHAT SURPRISES YOU ABOUT RALEIGH | Despite how dynamic Raleigh has become relatively to its past, we are still extremely segmented as a community and homogenous as a city.
WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU RIGHT NOW | Stay focused on positivity and actively engage with hope during this time of leadership crisis in our country.
WHAT'S ON YOUR FALL WISHLIST | We are in Laos with our friends this fall - the wish is to truly be present at home there.
THE FARTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME | Raleigh! I was born in Laos and came to North Carolina when I was 11 years old.
THREE FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT YOUR HOUSE | How open the bottom floor is, the bright lights, and that almost everything is white.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU | That I like to sing.
WHAT CAN YOU NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT | Food!
WHAT DO YOU BRING WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO | Vaseline for my lips and listerine strips.
In Laos, we say to someone Sabai Sabai - which means I wish you breeze, I wish you lightness.
-Vanvisa and Van