So where is the restaurant? That’s the question everyone asked when they tried the exquisite momo and aachar Barkha and Jesse Daily were serving up from their stand at the local community events such as the Thiensville Village Market and The Taste of Mequon. People loved the incredibly intense and nuanced flavors of the foods that were a part of daily life in Barkha’s home in Nepal.
These are flavors and dishes that have been perfected and handed down for generations in a place where “farm-to-fork” isn’t a noble trend or catch phrase, but has been a way of life for centuries.
So when Jesse met Barkha and their food sensibilities danced, laughed, and played together, they found themselves, and their hearts and souls, making beautiful Himalayan-inspired food people really liked. They did the sensible thing. They flew to Kathmandu, got married, moved to Thiensville, launched companies, and put down roots eager to grow in and contribute to their community.
It was only natural that they would gravitate to the Thiensville Farmer’s Market where they could source great ingredients, promote area farmers and the exploding food-craft cottage industry, and share their love for people and food. They’ve been an integral part of the team that is running Wisconsin’s second largest farmer’s market and championing Thiensville ever since.
So it wasn’t really too much of a stretch when, one day, as they gazed upon a charming, but seen-better-years landmark building in the center of town that their entrepreneurial spirits leapt a little, taking wing on the idea of elevating their game and creating a beautiful place to welcome people and celebrate their cherished food traditions. Nepali and American. And well, mix it up a bit.
It’s no wonder the restaurant is called “the cheel”, the Nepali word for eagle. There were dozens flying overhead in the Himalayan mountains of Kathmandu where they were married. And there is one keeping watch, a bronze sentinel commissioned to sit atop the lovingly restored building’s signature spire, a symbol of two people deeply committed to each other and their community who dare to try and soar by giving straight from their hearts.