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The sesame balls are back. Keefer Court, the 40-year-old Chinese bakery beloved for affordable bites and sweet treats, has returned to the Twin Cities dining scene just more than a year since it closed.

Keefer Court opened in 1983 as a fortune cookie factory by Paulina and Sunny Kwan, who spun it off into a full-service bakery and eventual restaurant in Minneapolis' West Bank neighborhood. After clinging on through the pandemic, the bakery announced its closure at the end of 2022, with the Kwans' daughter Michelle running the operation. Fans, however, were left dreaming of more.

In another part of town, restaurateur Michael Bui of Dinkytown's Pho Mai was hard at work opening a new restaurant and boba tea stand inside Asia Mall. He knew the towering complex was in need of one more type of business. While considering franchising an Asian bakery chain, he couldn't help but think back to his days as a broke University of Minnesota student and the bakery that sustained him. He reached out to the Kwans and the stage was set for a spectacular comeback.

Here's everything to know before visiting the new version of Keefer Court inside Eden Prairie's Asia Mall.

1. Bring patience.

On opening day, the line snaked out into the mall, and even though it moved quickly, people kept coming. And this was a soft opening on a weekday. Asia Mall, filled with restaurants, boba, mochi donuts and more, has been abuzz since Day One. Be patient and plan to come early; be prepared to circle for parking during prime times. Located at 12160 Technology Dr., Eden Prairie (, initial hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m., or until they sell out.

2. Expect to find old and new favorites.

Paulina and Sunny Kwan were on hand for the first day, and have been working with Bui to train the new staff to make all the old favorite treats. But they aren't only trading in nostalgia. The bakery has a selection of new items that will rotate through the gilded bakery cases made especially for the space. Everything is made fresh on site, too. Bui noted that while Asian bakeries have been growing in number around the Twin Cities, some may be dependent on dough that's made and shipped from Asia. It's OK to ask.

3. It's still affordable.

On opening day, there were warm meaty and meat-free buns ($4.50-$4.95), egg tarts ($4.25), winter melon cakes ($4.75), sesame balls ($3.75-3.95), pandan cakes ($7.95/slice or $59.95/whole) and more. There's a lineup of coffee drinks as well.

4. Grab a tray and dig in.

Visitors grab a tray and tongs before looking through the glass cases to select their treats. Items are clearly labeled. At the register, workers ring up the items and offer to warm up treats to immediately devour after paying. On our visit, tables were pushed to the side to accommodate crowds. But, as things presumably calm down, there will be seats inside the bakery to enjoy your bounty.

5. This is the final jewel in the culinary crown.

"This is the final piece," said Bui. Asia Mall now boasts everything from mochi donuts, boba tea, groceries, pho, hot pot and more, but it was missing a bakery. Visitors appear to agree — expect items to sell out.

Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect street address.