about

Evan Balasuriya

THIS IS MY STORY

Thereafter, in early 1964, he was one of the founder members of the band “Savages,” and within two years the band Savages climbed to the top in Sri Lanka as the sole band to sing and play musical instruments simultaneously at the time.

After entertaining US troops for 13 months in South Vietnam, the band Savages performed in Singapore night clubs for nearly three years before returning to Sri Lanka. After nearly nine years together, the band disbanded at the end of 1972.


Evan migrated to the United States in 1973, where he graduated with an Honors Degree in Hotel and Restaurant management from a Community College in Minnesota. Evan’s Plan B came to fruition when he opened his ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant in February 1978 in Northeast Minneapolis. He eventually moved his restaurant, Sri Lanka Curry House, to a bigger and a better location in Uptown Minneapolis.

In 1990, Money Magazine selected Sri Lanka Curry House as one of the ninety best restaurants to dine in the USA. Sri Lanka Curry house was also written up in The Boston Globe and LA Times, among others. Many local and national celebrities dined at the Sri Lanka Curry House in its heyday, including Steve Tyler and the Aerosmith, Foreigner, UB40, The English Beat, Engelbert Humperdinck and Weezer. Noted politicians, former Vice President Walter Mondale and his family and the late Senator Paul Wellstone and his family, were regular diners. Jim Belushi, Dorothy Hamill and Bobby McFerrin also dined at the restaurant.


After closing the restaurant in 2003, Evan did some open mike stand-up comedy while teaching as a Chef Instructor/motivational speaker at a culinary school in Minneapolis.


When the Tsunami struck Asia in late December 2004, Evan founded a grassroots foundation, and along with 125 mostly fellow Minnesotans made more than eight round trips to Sri Lanka. The foundation built 62 cement block homes to replace washed up wooden homes. A community center and a playground were also built for the nearly 125 children with more than 450 adults in the village.


During the Tsunami project Evan was interviewed live by Cathy Wurzer at Minnesota Public Radio and Don Shelby on his WCCO Radio talk show. He was also featured on KSTP Channel 5-TV, Minneapolis’ ABC affiliate, on the first anniversary of the tsunami.

Evan is currently working on a book about his tsunami project.