The last still-operating reminder of when Clarendon was known as “Little Saigon” is celebrating its reopening with an open house today (Wednesday).
Nam-Viet at 1127 N. Hudson Street closed temporarily last month for renovations, but is back in business today with a free lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It will reopen for regular business hours tomorrow (Thursday).
During the renovations, workers raised the restaurant’s ceilings, refreshed the ceiling tiles, added new tables, chairs and toilets and, literally, raised the bar. The eatery seats 90 people inside and another 60 on the patio outside. General manager Richard Nguyen said the refresh was the first since the restaurant opened in Clarendon in 1986.
“We figured, hey, we stayed here 31 years, have longevity, let’s see if we can stay here for even longer,” Nguyen said.
When customers walk into the restaurant, they will see photos of former prisoners of war, who Nguyen said have helped make Nam-Viet a success. The restaurant holds reunions for POWs as well as other private events.
Nguyen said customers can expect the same menu as before, filled with traditional Vietnamese food which has stayed more or less unchanged throughout its decades in business.
“The only thing that’s changed over 31 years is the décor,” he said. “Everything else has stayed the same.”
The renovation came a month after Nam-Viet closed its second location, in D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood. Nam-Viet’s full letter to its customers is after the jump.
Dear Nam-Viet Patrons,
First and foremost, thank you for your patience during our down time for renovations. It humbles us that there is a community within and outside of Arlington that support our restaurant. We have had patrons far and wide check in on us via phone calls, emails, and text messages to see when we will reopen again and we are happy to announce we will reopen for regular hours on Thursday, August 31, 2017 with a Re-Grand Opening date on 8/30/17 where we invite you to come in and look at our redesign and share food with us from 11:00AM – 5:00PM.
The idea of renovations has been thought of for quite some time. When we regrouped in Arlington after leaving Cleveland Park this past June, we knew it was a project we had to meet sooner rather than later.
Redesign, Renovate, Revitalize, and Reopen was our mindset this whole summer. We have enjoyed 31 years in business in Arlington that we are committed to continuing beyond that benchmark set by Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen Van Thoi, who’s legacy wouldn’t be there without the support of our patrons. Mrs. Thoi still has that same meticulous attention to detail she had 31 years ago when she first opened Nam-Viet; From the utensils at your table to each dish served from the kitchen.
We cannot thank you enough to everyone who has supported Nam-Viet these past three decades and we are grateful for that continued support during our renovation down time. We look forward to seeing everyone at the grand re-opening on 8/30/17 and for our regular lunch and dinner service on 8/31/17.