Vietnamese cuisine nearly here

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 11, 2011

Sam Nguyen stands in front of what will soon be his first Vietnamese Restaurant on the corner of Fourth Avenue Northwest and First Street Northwest. - Trisha Marczak/

It’s always been Sam Nguyen’s dream to open his own Vietnamese restaurant.

Day by day, he’s stepping closer to his goal. By May, Nguyen expects to open the doors to Vietnamese Top Noodle on the corner of Fourth Avenue Northeast and First Street Northwest — formerly Sterling Drug.

“It’s a great location,” Nguyen said. “I’ve been looking for a long time.”

Contractors work on the interior of the former Sterling Drug on the corner of Fourth Avenue Northwest and First Street Northwest. The site will open in spring as a Vietnamese restaurant.

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Nguyen, a native of Vietnam, is also the owner of Top Ten Nails, located next door to the future site of his restaurant.

Nguyen has owned Top Ten Nails for a decade, but moved locations after a fire claimed his former Main Street location a few years ago .

Owning a business in Austin has helped Nguyen get familiar with customers in the area, many of whom have asked him when he’s going to open a Vietnamese restaurant.

“A lot of my customers ask,” he said.

Nguyen said the restaurant will provide Austin with something fresh and new. The menu will consist of all Vietnamese cuisine — both hot and cold — and will include plenty for customers to choose from, he said.

The restaurant will be a sit down style, rather than a buffet.

The business will primarily be family operated, but Nguyen said he will be looking for extra help when the time comes to open.

The building is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by mid-April. Nguyen hopes to open the restaurant by early May. Nguyen is planning on moving Top Ten Nails to the new location, as well.