An all-day Vietnamese cafe from the team behind East Village hit Hanoi House is joining the neighborhood. Restaurateurs Sara Leveen and Ben Lowell, both Starr restaurant alum, plan to extend their restaurant with Hanoi Soup Shop down the street, at 115 St. Marks Place near Avenue A.
It will be a far more casual affair than their original restaurant, with sandwiches, coffee, and of course, pho. Hanoi House’s well-known, funky and fragrant pho bac — beef-based pho, here with oxtail — will be an option, as will pork terrine banh mi (banh mi cha lua) and Hoi An chicken over rice. Here, a chicken and vegan pho will also be available. Unlike Hanoi House, Soup Shop will be open during the day instead of just for dinner. It’s also about half the size, with counter seating, takeout, and delivery.
All the dishes will be created by chefs Daniel Le and Albert Nguyen, who will be splitting their time between Hanoi House proper and the new soup-centric cafe. Le — who grew up working at restaurants in Orange County, California’s Little Saigon — has been in the kitchen at Hanoi House since it opened in November 2016 and became sous chef shortly after, while Nguyen joined the company earlier this year after time at places like Del Posto, Flora Bar, and Má Pêche.
Leveen and Lowell opened Hanoi House more than two years ago, and it soon became packed for its hip vibes and uncompromising flavors, in part due to its opening chef John Nguyen. He left the restaurant in a somewhat nasty split earlier this year, though the legal case between him and the restaurateurs has since been settled.
But Hanoi House has continued on and still has long waits. Hanoi Soup Shop is slated to open the middle of winter 2019. Stay tuned for more.