© Chris Quigley
Pho Vietnam restaurant owner Cathy Nguyen stands in her new location in the Colemans building on Caribou Road on Monday, April 14, 2014.
It took a little longer than initially anticipated, but Cathy Nguyen’s Pho Vietnam restaurant has re-opened.
Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant into Canada who arrived in Corner Brook by way of Saskatchewan, originally established her restaurant at a location on Humber Road this past fall. In February, citing electrical code violations and work completed by unqualified workers without permits, the provincial electrical inspector shut the building down, leaving Nguyen’s restaurant and several apartment tenants in limbo.
Then, in March, it was announced that Pho Vietnam would re-open in the space formerly occupied by Maggie’s Restaurant in the Colemans building on Caribou Road.
In an article appearing in the March 13 edition of The Western Star, Nguyen said she was hoping to re-open by April 1. On April 4, responding to a request from The Western Star for an update, the restaurant’s Twitter account stated Nguyen was waiting on parts for some kitchen equipment, then would be ready to open.
The big day finally arrived on Monday, after the equipment was received and the setup was given a once-over by members of the Corner Brook Fire Department, Nguyen said, as she took a quick break from the kitchen.
She said she was very busy on her opening day, busier than she can remember ever being in the old building, especially on a Monday.
The size and location of her new digs may have played a role in that.
“(It’s) bigger,” she said in broken English. “In here, 24 people (can be seated), only 15 in (the) old place.
“In here ... there’s big parking,” she added. “Everything is very good.”
She said being situated next to a grocery store is ideal for her, and not just because of the obvious increase in traffic.
“(If I’m) out of vegetables or something, over to Colemans,” she said. “It’s easy for me.”
She’s paying the same rent she did at her old building, so while the last few months were a trying time for her, she’s ultimately satisfied and grateful for how everything worked out. She wanted to thank the City of Corner Brook, Colemans and everyone who has helped her get her new location up and running.
“And (thank you to the) customers for coming back here with me again,” she said. “I’m very happy.”