Dining With Denise Neil

Reimagined version of this Old Town Square restaurant will open on Sunday

An Old Town restaurant whose owner closed it two weeks ago because of health problems is about to reopen.

On Sunday, Hoang Nguyen and his partners will reopen Lemongrass: Taste of Vietnam in the spot at 300 N. Mead where the restaurant has operated since Danny Nguyen (no relation) opened it three years ago.

Hoang Nguyen and his partners, who opted to keep the name Lemongrass, will open the restaurant with their own menu at 11 a.m. on Sunday, and they’re hoping for a big Father’s Day crowd.

Hoang Nguyen, who owns a software company in town, said he and his partners wanted to open a restaurant in Wichita, and they were considering building near 21st and Webb. That’s when they noticed a listing saying that Lemongrass was for sale. A longtime customer of Lemongrass and Danny Nguyen’s first restaurant, Pho Hot Bistro, Hoang Nguyen decided to go for the turn-key business.

Danny Nguyen didn’t leave his recipes, so Hoang Nguyen and his crew have come up with their own menu. It will include lots of Vietnamese favorites like pho, banh mi and bun, and on weekends, the owners plan to set up a barbecue grill on the big Lemongrass patio and tempt passersby with the wafting aromas.

They wanted to get the restaurant reopened right away, though, so they’ll start with a limited menu and then expand offerings in the coming weeks. They plan to serve alcohol, but their liquor license will take a bit more time, Hoang Nguyen said.

“I didn’t want to close for too long,” he said. “A lot of people have tried to come, and I feel bad about it.”

The new hours at Lemongrass will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, check the restaurant’s new Facebook page, which is different from the original Lemongrass Facebook page.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.