Carrie Rengers

Lemongrass owner plans additions, expansion at Old Town restaurant

Lemongrass, Taste of Vietnam, is closed this week, but the vacationing Danny Nguyen says he has some changes planned for when he returns next week.
Lemongrass, Taste of Vietnam, is closed this week, but the vacationing Danny Nguyen says he has some changes planned for when he returns next week. The Wichita Eagle

Lemongrass, Taste of Vietnam, which is the restaurant that former Pho Hot Bistro owner Danny Nguyen opened where Caffe Moderne used to be, is celebrating its first anniversary.

There are no anniversary specials this week, though, because the Old Town restaurant is closed so Nguyen could take his family on vacation.

“I wanted (my) staff to take a break as well,” he says.

Nguyen may soon need a break from his vacation. Part of his trip includes a stop in Miami, where he is now.

“Everything’s expensive down here,” he says.

Nguyen’s family had a meal that included four entrees, an appetizer and three drinks.

“It cost me $273.”

In other words, more than he would charge for the same order at Lemongrass.

Nguyen says he has changes planned for his restaurant when he returns.

That includes new menu items, such as pad Thai and some curry dishes along with more seafood, such as Asian sea bass and a French-style salmon in cream sauce.

Also, Nguyen is expanding his patio and will start having live bands.

For the first time, Nguyen also is planning to start advertising.

“Right now, it’s just word-of-mouth,” he says of how he’s attracted customers.

Former Pho Hot customers are regulars.

“They all support us,” Nguyen says.

He has a lot of repeat customers as well, which he says he appreciates.

“We’ve been doing pretty good.”

Lemongrass will reopen on July 17.

Nguyen says he’s still interested in starting another business that would offer valet service in Old Town, but he says he hasn’t found the right employees to run it.

“We’re working on it.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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