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Beloved family-owned Vietnamese restaurant closes Monday after 33 years

"We want to celebrate what we’ve created together rather than mourn its end. So please come see us one last time before June 13, 2022."

ST. LOUIS — After 33 years, a south city institution is closing for the last time Monday.

Pho Grand, a beloved Vietnamese restaurant on South Grand Boulevard, announced last month that it will permanently close on June 13, the owners said in a Facebook post.

"With so many of you, we have shared laughter and tears, newfound love and heartbreak, celebration and loss," the post said. "There aren’t enough words in the world to describe the countless memories we’ve created here with all of you: our friends. Our family."

The Trinh family has been serving up tasty dishes for 33 years, although the family's original home is 8,600 miles away.

The family fled Vietnam more than 45 years ago when North Vietnamese forces captured Saigon.

"I remember hearing my mom say prayers and people around you saying prayers and stuff like that and by the third day we got rescued by a Denmark ship," Pho Grand co-owner Hang "Tami" Trinh said in an interview with 5 On Your Side in 2015.

Months later, Tami, her seven siblings and her mom made it to the United States and so did her future husband.

They opened their restaurant in 1989 and served Vietnamese dishes with light and fresh ingredients.

“Never in my wildest dream did I think we would be open 3 decades later," said Trinh. 

The Trinh family considered closing the business at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, but community support kept the doors open.

After working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for more than 33 years Trinh decided it was time for a change.

"You know every book has an ending," said Trinh.  "Every story has an ending, so this is the final chapter for Pho Grand, but it’s the next chapter for my life.”

In the Facebook post, the owners invited customers to come in one more time before they close for good to "celebrate what we’ve created together rather than mourn its end."

Trinh says she and her husband want to take time and travel, but St. Louis will always be home.

“This is not goodbye, it’s see you later," said Trinh.  "We might come back.  This is my passion, so we might come back and do something little or something different.  I don’t know, we’ll see.”

How do we put into words what the past 33 years means to all of us at Pho Grand? With so many of you, we have shared...

Posted by Pho Grand on Monday, May 16, 2022

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