Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurateur closes Rock Road restaurant as he opens Old Town one

Pho Hot Bistro at 306 N. Rock Road has closed, and its owner hopes to transform it into a new concept.
Pho Hot Bistro at 306 N. Rock Road has closed, and its owner hopes to transform it into a new concept. The Wichita Eagle

As he prepares to open his new restaurant, Danny Nguyen has closed his old one.

Pho Hot Bistro, the Vietnamese restaurant that has operated at 306 N. Rock Road since 2009, quietly closed last month, Nguyen said. A sign that was on the door (but has since fallen onto the ground) alerts customers that the restaurant is closed for remodeling.

Nguyen, who next week will open his new Lemongrass: Taste of Vietnam in Old Town Square, said that he wants to turn Pho Hot into another Lemongrass, which will have an Indochinese/Vietnamese menu with French influences and lots of seafood. Before he does, though, he has to work out details with his Rock Road landlord. Nguyen is hoping to take over the space behind Pho Hot to make the space bigger.

“I want to do something that’s different for Wichita and for that area,” he said.

He won’t start focusing on that, though, until Lemongrass is off the ground.

Nguyen, who said he was able to give all his Pho Hot employees jobs at Lemongrass, said he will be ready to start accepting customers on Thursday, May 19.

The new restaurant is in the former Caffe Moderne space at 306 N. Mead. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Nguyen opened his first Pho Hot Bistro at 2409 E. Pawnee in 2006. He closed it in 2010 after taking over the former Amarillo Grill building on Rock Road.

Stay tuned for updates on the Pho Hot Bistro conversion.

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