Independence Avenue Vietnamese restaurant celebrates grand reopening

Micah Wilkins
Northeast News
Aug. 9, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — When Pho Hoa Noodle Soup closed its doors earlier this year for some remodeling and a name change, many Northeast residents thought that it was for good. But, after being closed for more than three months, the restaurant is finally read to open its doors again.

At 10 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 13, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held for the restaurant’s grand reopening under its new name: iPho Tower. The French Vietnamese fusion restaurant opened in 2011 originally as a California-based chain. Owner Spike Nguyen decided to create his own restaurant concept and this past April, opened iPho Tower in Midtown, Kansas City. Nguyen closed the Northeast location with the same idea in mind, but the transition took longer than expected.

“We miscalculated,” Nguyen said.

Instead of closing for a few weeks, it took the restaurant months to reopen as the restaurant kept running into roadblocks. The restaurant had to renew its liquor license, a process that took longer than Nguyen had anticipated. Spike and Jessie Nguyen, his wife and the other owner, also chose to upgrade the restaurant so that it was more accommodating for Northeast residents.

“We found a lot of things we needed to change and make better for the community here,” Nguyen said.

The restaurant also upgraded its menu, adding more appetizers and small plate options. Pho, a noodle soup with broth, vegetables and meat, will always be a popular dish at the restaurant, Nguyen said, but not many know that this traditional Vietnamese soup was highly influenced by the French when they occupied Vietnam for over 100 years. The new name pays homage to the French influence in Vietnamese that is oftentimes overlooked.

“We want to bring the two cultures together,” Nguyen said.

The owners are excited to be in business again in the Northeast, and hope to reestablish their client base in the neighborhood.

“We want to be a part of the Northeast,” Nguyen said. “That’s where we started and we hope to continue to hold our ground there. Most people thought we closed for good, but we want to make sure that people know that the Northeast is a part of us.”

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