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Vietnamese Uptown update 

  While local diners await the opening of a pair of Vietnamese restaurants on Magazine Street, a third new Uptown Vietnamese eatery is slated to debut soon on St. Charles Avenue.

  Renovations are underway for le Viet cafe (2135 St. Charles Ave., 304-1339), which manager Kim Nguyen describes as a combination coffeeshop and restaurant. It will serve pastries, frozen yogurt and bubble teas alongside Vietnamese standards like pho, bun, rice plates and banh mi sandwiches, plus beer and wine at the bar.

  "We'll be open daily at 7 a.m. for people who want to come in and get a coffee and croissant, and then we'll serve lunch and dinner through 9 p.m.," she says.

  The target opening date for le Viet cafe is Nov. 17. That could make it the first in a bumper crop of Vietnamese restaurants in an Uptown stretch where this increasingly popular cuisine has heretofore been hard to find.

  Magasin Vietnamese Cafe is still taking shape at 4201 Magazine St., where it will serve a combination of home-style Vietnamese dishes with French influences and an array of made-to-order spring rolls. New Orleans native Kim Nguyen (no relation to the Kim Nguyen above) is developing Magasin after opening several successful Vietnamese restaurants in Houston.

  She expects to open in mid-December, and she plans to add a second eatery within the same building. It will be called Bites by Magasin and will have a walk-up window serving breakfast plates, po-boys and weekly specials, including barbecue. Outdoor seating will be available on a deck and side patio.

  "Bites will be a very chill, affordable breakfast and lunch place," Nguyen says.

At 2005 Magazine St., a new eatery called Pho Noi Viet will serve a traditional Vietnamese noodle house menu. Owner Vinh Vu reports he and his wife Kim Vu are a few weeks away from opening Pho Noi Viet as they grapple with city inspections and approvals.


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