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Popular Vietnamese ‘pho’ restaurant expanding to Citrus Heights

Pho ABC, vietnamese restaurant in Citrus Heights, Alvin Nguyen
Alvin Nguyen, future Pho ABC manager in Citrus Heights, cleans up some old shelving outside the former Waffle House on Greenback Lane. // CH Sentinel

“Pho ABC” in Folsom plans to expand to Citrus Heights by opening a second restaurant in the old Waffle Square building on Greenback Lane.

The new location’s future manager, Alvin Nguyen, said the restaurant is expected to open in mid-May, offering diners a selection of Vietnamese-Chinese menu items. The restaurant’s current location on East Bidwell Street opened in 2011 and has earned a 4-out-of-5 star overall rating from more than 200 reviewers on Yelp.

Asked to describe “pho,” Nguyen said the literal translation is “Vietnamese beef noodle soup,” but the restaurant will also offer vegetarian and beef alternatives. He said other menu items will include egg rolls and grilled meats.

The 30-year-old future manager said the new restaurant will be family oriented, with eventual plans for a kids room in the rear corner of the dining area. Although the kids area plans are “not set in stone,” he’s hopeful the spot will include toys and possibly TV’s and a video game console — but he said that part won’t be ready by opening day.

The Citrus Heights restaurant will be larger than the Folsom restaurant, boasting about 4,450 square feet inside — with ample room for tables and chairs, the future kids area, and a small bar area with stools.

Over the past few months, Nguyen said the building has been undergoing an extensive interior remodel, with new paneling, tile, appliances, furniture, electrical and plumbing.

“Pretty much only the (ceiling) fans and foundation weren’t replaced,” Nguyen said, pointing to new flooring inside, freshly painted walls, and new LED lighting. Piles of gutted interior materials from the remodel were also indicative of the work that has been done of the past several months.

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Nguyen said Pho ABC is a family-run business, owned by his brother Tommy. The old Waffle Square location was appealing to the Nguyen brothers due to Greenback Lane’s heavy traffic and nearby apartments and retail in the area.

When open in what Nguyen hopes will be mid-May, the restaurant will likely have similar hours to the Folsom location, which is 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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