After Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order limited restaurants to takeout, Pho Nguyen’s House in Lynnwood has found a way to bring in some revenue while also helping those on the front lines against COVID-19.
Pho Nguyen’s House opened Jan. 11 on 28th Avenue W. near the Alderwood mall — just 20 days before the first U.S. case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Snohomish County.
Owners Cindy and Duy Nguyen serve authentic Vietnamese at their restaurant, including favorites like pho noodle soup, bahn mi sandwiches, fried egg rolls and vermicelli pasta bowls. Husband and wife are originally from Vietnam, although they met and married here about seven years ago.
“After two months, COVID happened,” Cindy Nguyen said. “We do takeout right now, but it has been slow. I know it’s a very hard time right now, but it would be harder if we were to close and reopen again.
“We thank everyone who has been supporting our restaurant through carryout orders and online orders.”
The Nguyens decided to open their own restaurant because Cindy’s in-laws — Ho Nguyen and Suong Le — worked for Pho Than Brothers on Everett Mall Way for 10 years and Mekong Village off Highway 99 for four years. They wanted a family operation.
“A lot of customers came to Pho Nguyen’s House and recognized that my father-in-law had worked at Than Brothers,” Cindy Nguyen said.
Since March 23, Inlsee’s stay-at-home order has changed the way the Nguyens do business. They don’t see too many takeout or delivery orders for lunch and dinner, so to help the family pay rent on the restaurant, they’re bringing donated meals to local hospitals.
Pho Nguyen House doesn’t have a Go Fund Me campaign, so most donations have been made through the restaurant’s Facebook page. You may also call 425-697-6888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to donate. With a donation of $250, the restaurant can deliver 30 lunches.
On March 29, the Pho Nguyen’s House crew donned face masks and gloves and delivered lunch to Swedish Edmonds. They brought ER staffers 20 banh mi sandwiches and fried egg rolls.
On April 4, the Vietnamese restaurant delivered 30 banh mi sandwiches and fried egg rolls, plus five pho noodle soups, to nurses and doctors at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.
Most recently, on April 11, the Nguyens returned to Providence Everett with 30 stir-fried rice dishes and banh mi sandwiches. The family also brought with them handmade face shields and cloth masks made by their Vietnamese neighbors to donate to the hospital.
With each lunch delivery, the Nguyens included Vietnamese tea, smoothies and coffee.
Nurse Joni Jones was there in the parking lot at Providence to accept the lunches and give the Nguyens a thank-you card.
“It really made me tear up,” she said. “It just really hit me, what we’re doing and what the time is that we’re living in. It’s just such a hard time for everyone, and the fact that they’re doing this.”
If they get enough donations, Nguyen said Pho Nguyen’s House plans to continue to bring lunches to nurses and doctors at Swedish Edmonds and Providence Everett on alternating weekends.
They already have $250 to go toward lunches and 30 more handmade face shields from Pony Mailbox in Edmonds for the next delivery.
“We hope (Snohomish County residents) will give more support to front line workers during these unprecedented times,” Nguyen said. “With more funds, we can bring more food to the hospitals, not just one by one.”
Another way to help
Nurse Joni Jones at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett has organized a Go Fund Me campaign called “Providence Caregivers” to bring lunches to hospital staff who aren’t working in the ER but are still feeling added stress from the coronavirus pandemic. She has raised $4,400 so far for gifts and treats. Go to www.gofundme.com/f/covid-unit-heroes to donate.
If you go
Pho Nguyen’s House, 18920 28th Ave. W, Suite H, Lynnwood, is open for takeout and delivery 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Saturday. Call 425-697-6888 or go to www.phonguyenshouse.com.