An Choi, the decade-old pho shop from the team behind Di An Di in Greenpoint, has permanently closed after more than a decade on Orchard Street, according to former employees and customers at the restaurant who have been posting about the closure on Instagram. The Lower East Side Vietnamese restaurant closed its doors this week, as did Cafe Phin, the popular Vietnamese coffee shop that it housed.
The cherished Lower East Side restaurant opened more than 11 years ago, at a time when New York City’s hip Vietnamese restaurant scene was just beginning to bloom. Brothers Tuan and Huy Bui opened An Choi on Orchard Street in early 2009 and infused the restaurant with modern versions of Vietnamese dishes, along with those inspired by the owners’ upbringings in northern Virginia.
A decade later, An Choi ranked among the city’s best Vietnamese restaurants — not just for its bone marrow pho, but also for its menu of Vietnamese-American dishes that channeled the street markets of Vietnam. Following on the momentum of An Choi, Tuan Bui partnered with Kim Hoang and chef Dennis Ngo to open the wildly popular Di An Di in Greenpoint. Several versions of An Choi’s star dishes, like its shaking beef, have since made their way to Di An Di’s menu and are still available for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining there.
On Monday, former workers and patrons of the restaurant shared photos from An Choi’s closing night, which occurred at the restaurant on Sunday, July 26. In the posts, former employees confirm the restaurant’s closure and mourn the loss of the space, which they say helped further the Lower East Side, NYC food industry, and Vietnamese-American communities. Eater has reached out to the owners for more information.
News first started to surface about An Choi potentially closing in early June, when local publication Bowery Boogie reported that An Choi had permanently closed its doors. (The story, which was based on an anonymous tip, was later updated to reflect that the closure was a possibility, rather than a certainty.) At the time, Tuan Bui told Eater that he “had not come to a conclusion” about the future of the restaurant, as both An Choi and Di An Di had received a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
An Choi’s closure comes as the city is reeling from the economic impact of COVID-19, leading to the shutdown of many restaurants and bars across NYC.