ON THE MENU — Nederland’s Pho Ha rebranding with new name and location

Published 12:28 am Sunday, June 12, 2022

NEDERLAND — A popular Nederland eatery is undergoing a name and location change by the end of summer, according to the owners.

Pho Ha owners Kim Tran and Teddy Romero, Jr. said they are moving from their location on Nederland Avenue by the end of the summer.

The two bought the restaurant from the previous owner approximately two years ago.

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“The owner wanted to retire, and I had been working for him for several years. It just came up,” Tran said. “This is my first time ever running a business. It is a lot. You never think about all of the responsibilities when you are a regular employee.”

Tran said being in the business teaches her to hold her composure.

The two said the restaurant will move to 209 South Memorial Freeway with a hard opening date of Aug. 1.

“We have three months to do this,” Tran said. “We were just looking for a more updated building and a better work environment for our employees,” Tran said. “It is very tight here. I feel like our business is expanding.”

The move also comes with a name change to Mama Kim’s.

“She said she wanted to have a more home-style aesthetic,” Romero said. “If you say Mama Kim’s Vietnamese cuisine, it fit more and makes you think there is more home-style food there and that is what we are going for.”

Romero said the new building will be able to offer the customers more than just food.

“We want to have a different aesthetic and we want it to be dinner-style,” he said. “We want to be able to sell other drinks than what we have in the refrigerator back in there now. We want to upgrade into a different mode of business. If you look at the business model, this is a very quick-serve establishment. We want to phase into more of a cuisine and fine dining.”

Tran said the goal is for the food to match the building.

She said community support is unmatched.

“We have really loyal customers,” she said. “You become family when you come that often. It is not just serving. It is getting to know them and their family. I feel like we have a tremendous amount of support. Even with the move. Customers have helped with equipment. They tell us to just let them know what we need and they actually come through with it. The support is there. I get random messages saying that we are doing a great job.”

Despite the brand change, the restaurant will still serve the fan-favorite Vietnamese dishes.

“We have the No. 32, which is beef cubes over rice,” Romero said. “It is a traditional Vietnamese dish. You can alter it in a lot of different ways. We have people who thought we just sell soups, because of the name, which is why we wanted to change it. We do so much more.”