Small Bites: Pho future?

Pho sho: Pho Fusion chef Tru Phan and his pho may be moving with the bank’s takeover of the Downtown Market ... but not yet, he says. Photos by Jonathan Welch

As we reported last week, the building that houses the Downtown Market at 45 S. French Broad Ave. was in foreclosure. The main tenants may get a reprieve, as their owners have made statements that the bank will be working with them to keep the leases going. The consignment businesses will have to vacate by July 13.

Amazing Savings has indicated it will stay. But what will happen to Hi-Fi Coffee Bar and Pho Fusion, Asheville’s first all-Vietnamese restaurant? Xpress spoke with Tru Phan, the chef at Pho Fusion, to find out what was in store for his venture.

The restaurant has been invited to stay, along with Amazing Savings and Hi-Fi, but Phan is not sure how successful the business will be when perched on the perimeter of a mostly vacant, cavernous space.

"I have to wait to hear from the bank what the options are," says Phan. If the rents are reasonable, he says, Pho Fusion will remain open where it is. If the price is too high, Pho Fusion may move elsewhere. No matter what, says Phan, he does not intend to close the restaurant for good.

Tru Phan will be looking at downtown property this week in order to carefully weigh his options. "Will a Vietnamese restaurant survive in downtown Asheville," Phan asked Xpress? This reporter ventured that it was likely.

Phan reports that he is actively seeking a new investor for his venture. His former business partner recently left the restaurant entirely in Phan’s hands.

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