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Side Dishes: Vietnamese café to open in Winooski


More Vietnamese cuisine in Greater Burlington? You bet. On Saturday, the Winooski Malletts Bay Avenue storefront that formerly housed Vermont Asian Market will get new life from a 27-year-old Vietnamese immigrant, Canh Chau. He’s hosting the grand opening of his Vietnamese-style coffee shop, Night Life Café.

The spot will serve ca phe — individually dripped dark-roast coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk — and other Vietnamese coffee drinks. Though Chau emphasizes that Night Life will be “a place where people can hang out and have a little fun,” rather than a restaurant, his pride in his homemade Vietnamese dishes is evident.

Chau plans to serve small plates meant to be enjoyed over a game at the pool table, rather than full meals, he says. Those will include egg rolls, chicken wings and banh mi — the real deal, says Chau, who views many of the baguette sandwiches available in the area as Americanized versions.

Customers may find themselves eating to an urban beat: A trained recording engineer, Chau has set up a studio in Night Life. He says that he specializes in hip-hop, but admits, “I’m no rap star or anything.” Who knows — maybe the next top-40 discovery will be made between bites of banh mi.