Fans of a certain nautical catering landmark have something more to celebrate by ringing in the New Year. Iconic Seattle Pho Bac restaurant in the shape of a boat – The nearly forty-year-old Little Saigon business, closed for renovations since November 2018 – will officially reopen on Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. until food runs out. It will then start a regular service thereafter, operating side by side with the new subsidiary Pho Bac Sup Shop (one of the best Vietnamese places in town) across the lot.
Yenvy Pham – who, along with her siblings, runs the restaurant her parents started in the early ’80s – told Eater Seattle that in addition to the signature pho, the menu will include a bun of bo hue prime rib: a spicy beef noodle-lemongrass pineapple beef broth, with ribs, tendons, blood cake, and pork and shrimp meatballs. The kitchen and interior have been upgraded (with a full bar), but the restaurant’s low-key atmosphere remains intact, alongside a few playful touches, like a golden disco ball. “It has a simple, quick beer and a shot type vibe,” Pham explains. “Back to the 80s.”
Pho Bac began Seattle’s love affair with the Vietnamese soup of the same name in the boat-shaped building and has held a special place in the hearts of residents for the past four decades. But the infrastructure itself (which dates from the 1950s) needed love. Over the past year or so, Pham and the crew have worked hard to put things in order, hosting the occasional pop-ups in space, and are now ready to set sail for real – a relief for many impatient with the long process of remodeling.