Vietnamese cuisine cooking up Saturday

Published 10:19 am Friday, June 10, 2011

Sam Nguyen, owner of Vietnamese Top Noodle, will open his restaurant Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Nguyen also owns the conjoining businesses Le's Sandwiches and Billiards and Top Ten Nails, both of which opened in May. -- Adam Harringa/

On Saturday, Austin will get its first taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, and come Monday, brothers Sam and Tan Nguyen will finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Sam, a native of Vietnam, owns the three businesses that have sprung up on the corner of Fourth Ave. NE and First St. NW; Vietnamese Top Noodle, Le’s Sandwiches Café and Billiards, and Top Ten Nails, and his brother manages the sandwich shop and restaurant. Top Ten Nails opened May 16, Le’s opened May 27, and Vietnamese Top Noodle will be open Saturday and Sunday, with a grand opening from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, and all proceeds during that time will go to the Mower County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

“It’s really tough,” Sam said of the amount of work it takes to build three businesses at once. “But we go day by day.”

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When the restaurant is finally open, Sam said, he will be able to relax a little.

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

But with Sam’s and Tan’s restaurants going up, the nail salon, run by his wife, Lynn, got another makeover. The salon was at 507 First St. NW, in the strip mall that houses Donut Connection, and Sam said they moved it to its current location on Sunday, May 15, after closing for the day on Saturday, and it was open again that Monday.

“We worked all day to get it moved,” Sam said.

The sandwich shop was the result of extra space. Sam said when they were configuring space for the restaurant and realized they had more room, so they thought a restaurant with fast service and a dinner menu would fit in nicely next door.

Sam 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.

And while Sam has never owned a restaurant, Tan has restaurant experience were the brothers lived in Florida.

“I’ve always wanted to own a restaurant,” Sam said.

The restaurant and sandwich shop will have six employees. The restaurant can seat 95 people and Le’s can seat 20. Vietnamese Top Noodle will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.