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March 23, 2023

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Pho back in Uptown Village

Pho Divine open in former home of Pho Haven; ‘I want to give back,’ co-owner says

By , Columbian staff writer
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Pho Divine sits on Main Street on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Vancouver. The Vietnamese restaurant recently opened.
Pho Divine sits on Main Street on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Vancouver. The Vietnamese restaurant recently opened. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) (Photos by taylor balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A new pho place, Pho Divine, has opened at 2014 Main St. in Uptown Village.

The restaurant has already started raking in positive reviews online, praising the place’s food and atmosphere.

“This place has incredible pho and the banh mi is the best I’ve ever had,” wrote Geoffrey Worling, on Google Reviews. “Great bread, great flavor. I’ll be coming back here way too often.”

The restaurant is owned by Thuy Huynh and Andrew Le.

“We are very excited,” said Thuy Huynh, who first came to downtown Vancouver as a teenage girl and refugee from Vietnam. She graduated from Hudson’s Bay High School in 1986.

“I grew up here,” she said. “I want to give back to the community that I love.”

Thuy Huynh said she is eager to continue her restaurant’s legacy.

“We love to be here and give our customers our Vietnamese cuisine that they have always loved — the same recipes and the same customer service,” she said.

Thuy Huynh and Andrew Le originally owned Pho Haven at the location before selling the business in 2021 to Mandy Huynh and Stanley Co, who also owns Pho House Cafe & Deli, 316 S.E. 123rd Ave.

Mandy Huynh was “not able to satisfactorily complete a pre-opening inspection in March, due primarily to facility improvements that were needed,” Brigette Holland, food safety manager with Clark County Public Health, told The Columbian in April. “Additional time was granted to complete facility improvements, but after discussion with the landlord, the business owner chose not to move forward with obtaining a food permit.”

Pho Haven closed permanently in the spring. A complaint was filed in April by Thuy Huynh and Le against Mandy Huynh, alleging that she hadn’t paid rent for the space. In a May answer to the complaint, Mandy Huynh said that Le and Thuy Huynh “materially breached the terms of the lease prior to any nonperformance.”

The case is scheduled to go to trial in April 2023.

Le and Thuy Huynh bought the century-old building, which was constructed as a residence, in 2015 for $585,000. Before Pho Haven, it was home to Mint Tea, which closed in 2015, and a Mexican eatery before that.