- Melissa Pasanen
- Jade Le of Pho Hong in the space into which the restaurant is expanding
Jade Le, daughter of Pho Hong co-owners Dao Le and Lan Hong, confirmed that her parents bought their restaurant space at 325 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington, along with the two next-door units, from Champlain Housing Trust in mid-March.
The two neighboring locations, 321 and 323 North Winooski, were previously occupied by Winooski Laundry. The family plans to expand Pho Hong into 323 North Winooski, but not into the end unit, where their sales agreement stipulates that they continue to operate a laundromat.
Jade Le's parents opened their popular Vietnamese restaurant in 2008. Le, 41, and one of her sisters work at the family business.
Her mother is in charge of the renovation plan, she said, describing her parents as "excited and scared at the same time."
On a recent tour of the work in progress, Todd Bechard, contractor-owner of Northern Mountain Construction, estimated the project would be completed by late summer and would create an additional dining area of about 480 square feet. The remainder of the restaurant expansion will include an office, second bathroom, larger kitchen and more storage space.
Le was unsure how many seats would be added to the current 24. In expanding, she said, the family will consider limited parking in the area and meeting customer expectations in a challenging economic climate.
Pho Hong will continue to operate normally until close to the end of the renovation, when the brick wall between the existing restaurant and the addition must come down. At that point, Le said, the restaurant will close for three or four weeks, after which it may reopen for takeout until the renovation is complete.