In 2015, Thai Nguyen and Ha Pham, owners of New Saigon at 630 South Federal Boulevard, made big changes in their lives. They sold their restaurant and made plans to retire, only to discover that they missed their kitchen and customers too much to let them go. So they bought back New Saigon, gave it a facelift and reopened with renewed vigor and menu specials. But now the husband and wife (Nguyen runs the front of house and Pham is the chef) have sold their longstanding restaurant once again, to new owners Bao and Mai Vu, as announced by their daughters, An and Thoa Nguyen, who operate New Saigon Bakery & Deli next door.
New Saigon Bakery posted this message on its Facebook page last night:
We would like to let our loyal customers know that on April 1, 2017 New Saigon Restaurant is under new ownership. However, New Saigon Bakery and Deli remains under our same ownership since its grand opening back in 2012. It was a hard farewell to our family restaurant of 30 years, but you will definitely see us at the bakery next door. Stop by the bakery for our daily specials, Banh Mi, Vietnamese food to-go, ice coffee, and desserts or just stop by to say "hi" we'd love to see familiar and friendly faces.
It has been quite a journey! Thirty long years that started with nothing but survival, hard work, sweat and tears. However, as time moves on, so do the people. We have finally ended this journey and sold the restaurant. We would have never made it here without our loyal customers. So thank you to everyone. The support has been emotionally heartwarming.
It started with a random little Vietnamese restaurant alongside Federal. There wasn't much surrounding at the time; roads were quiet and shops were left unnoticed. Through the passion for food, love for culture, and hope for a new life away from war; New Saigon Restaurant later became famously recognized through rumors of being one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Denver. Those rumors became true as news media made it official when they came to listen to Thai and Ha's story as refugees and their achieved American dream.
Times have changed; Federal is no longer quiet and shops are now more abundant than ever. It's the new hot spot. The federal area has grown so much that a few years ago it was named Little Saigon District. To be a part of this diverse community, has been an honor. The customers enjoying our food, the creation of each recipe, the heart and passion put into each dish will forever live on in our memories. As we close the doors to the restaurant that once defined us; we will continue to live on through our business next door to the restaurant at the bakery and deli. With lots of love and appreciation, thank you for years of support.
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New Saigon began life as a tiny Vietnamese eatery in 1982; Nguyen and Pham bought the place in 1987 and have expanded and updated the exterior and the interior several times over the years, giving the place a facade intended to resemble the Cho Ben Thanh market and clocktower in Saigon. New Saigon has always managed to keep up with — and even stay ahead of — the fast-changing scene on Federal Boulevard. We can only hope that the change in ownership will not mean a change to the restaurant's standing as one of the best in the city.
Change has always been a part of New Saigon. Here's what it looked like before the most recent renovation and addition of New Saigon Bakery.