Vietnamese pho restaurant to open
Owners will bring a modern touch to authentic cuisine
It was a little bit of luck and some willingness to seize an opportunity that brought Pho Ever to Newark Shopping Center, owner Nick Hong said.
About a year ago, Hong and a friend were working together to open a bubble tea franchise in Newark. As soon as he saw the small storefront next to Poke Bros., he recalled thinking, “It would be a perfect location to have a pho restaurant as well.”
When the bubble tea location didn’t work out, Hong said, he decided to open Pho Ever instead.
“The first time I came here, I’d seen the location, the people around and just everything downtown – I just thought it’s perfect,” he said.
And after a year of work creating the store “pretty much from scratch,” Pho Ever will have its soft open throughout next week.
Hong described Pho Ever as a different take on Vietnamese cooking.
“We want to modernize it a bit more and not go the traditional route,” he said. “We’re going to see have the authentic menu, but we kind of narrowed it down to simplify.”
Customers can expect a service line, where they can pick the items that go into their pho – a Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, meats, vegetables and herbs – and see it put together in front of them.
“So you get to see all that, which, typically, no other Vietnamese pho restaurant has,” he said.
In addition to the build-your-own pho, Pho Ever will offer house specials served over rice, rolls, wraps and dumplings. The menu includes vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free options.
This is Hong’s second restaurant endeavor; he owns a more traditional Vietnamese restaurant in upstate New York. Chef and manager Peter Thai operated that location and is making the move to Newark to run Pho Ever.
“It’s a cliché everybody says, the American dream; you work hard and, you know, opportunities come and you’ve got to take a chance and jump in,” he said.
Hong and Thai channeled the University of Delaware’s blue-and-gold color scheme into the interior of the restaurant, plan to be one of the participating restaurants in the offcampus meal plan and will offer delivery through the online platform Eat Street.
“We’re hoping to try to get to know the community, know the town,” he said. “We’re more than happy and willing, like if people want fundraisers and things, we can partner up with them and stuff like that.”
Hong also noted how the community has embraced them even before they opened, such as their shopping center neighbors helping collect their mail and suggesting contractors.
“We’re just excited,” he said. “We can’t wait.”
Peter Thai, chef and manager, and Nick Hong, owner, pose for a photo at Pho Ever, a Vietnamese restaurant coming to the Newark Shopping Center.