Feeding the community

Owner Shaheen Khan, left, takes an order from a take-out customer during a free community dinner March, 2020 at Mela Bangladeshi Cuisine in Moscow. 

Mela, a Bengali/Bangladeshi restaurant which opened in August 2018, announced this week they will close at their Second Street location after their lease ended and they could not come to a new agreement with the building landlord.

Mela co-owner Enam Khan said the business is in discussions regarding a new location in Pullman. Khan said they will be completely moved out of their Moscow location by the end of December.

Co-owner Shaheen Khan, Enam Khan’s wife and also head chef, started Mela in 2014 selling food at the Pullman and Moscow farmers markets. In March and April of 2020, Mela hosted popular free community dinners in an effort to give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matthew Becker, the landlord of the Moscow property which also houses Slice Pizzeria & Taphouse, said there are no plans for the Mela space at this time.

A fundraising account at GoFundMe has been established for the Khans by Jodi Bordeaux and Marcia Gossard. The page had raised more than $2,600 dollars in 15 hours. According to the page, the goal is to raise $14,000 to cover a small business loan the Khans took out for improvements at the current location.

“Closing on such short notice has put them in a very precarious financial situation,” the page reads.

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