The 8th Avenue South dining scene is about to get another shot in the arm, as Vietnamese restaurant Love, Peace & Pho is set to join the neighborhood. Currently under construction in the space that previously housed Cane-Ery Antiques, the new spot is the project of Suong Vo, who owns The Nail Place next door, and her brother, who also works and lives in Nashville. Aiming for an early September opening, Vo promises "authentic Vietnamese cuisine, not 'entry level,' with seven different types of pho, including two vegetarian options, all drawing influences from the northern, middle and southern regions of Vietnam. Several banh mi variations will also be available, along with bun bo hue, a popular spicy beef noodle dish. The space itself will have a 1970's motif, with the restaurant's name and logo also referencing that time period.
As for the reason for opening the restaurant, Vo puts it simply: it's meant to pay tribute to their family and their history and heritage.
In 1975, I came to the U.S. with my parents, five sisters and two brothers during the massive evacuation at the end of the Vietnam War. They were putting refugees in tents all across the country, and we wound up in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, waiting for sponsorship so we could get out. A farmer and his wife in Maryville, Tennessee wound up adopting our entire family, and we lived there in a spare house on their property. And that's really what we want to pay tribute to with this, that opportunity, and the many others since. We want to take it back to the 70s, to a simpler time in terms of our own personal family cohesion. And we want to share that with the community.