The owner of Taste of Saigon at Rockville Town Square announced today the Vietnamese restaurant will close on Oct. 15 and thanked customers for their loyalty over the past 24 years.
Liem Tu announced the closure in an email to supporters, friends and family.
“You know my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins,” wrote Tu. “You watched my brother and me grow up and start our own families. In turn, we have had the pleasure of serving you, celebrating your milestones and being part of your traditions.
“On behalf of the Tu family, I want to thank you for your loyalty and friendship over the last 24 years. When my family moved to the United States and opened Taste of Saigon, I don’t think they ever imagined being so warmly embraced. We are closing this chapter with incredible memories.”
Tu's parents and their siblings opened the restaurant in 1990 on Hugerford Drive in Rockville then later moved it to Rockville Town Square in 2008. His family fled South Vietnam as refugees in 1975 and worked for 15 years in the area before raising enough funds to open the Rockville restaurant, which is modeled on a restaurant his mother owned in Saigon.
In a phone interview, Tu said the second generation of his family has moved on to other careers outside the restaraunt.
"When my family emigrated at the end of war they worked 15 years to open this restaurant," Tu said. "Their American dream was to build a better life for their children, my cousins, my brother and I think they achieved that."
The restaurant is known for its pho, shrimp-and-lotus salad and crisp Saigon crepe with shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts and onions. It was featured in Bethesda Magazine’s 25 Favorite Ethnic Restaurants feature in 2013.
Tu said there's no plans for another Taste of Saigon at the moment.
The closure represents another business out at Federal Realty’s Rockville Town Square, although this one will soon be replaced. Over the past six months the businesses that have closed include Oro Pomodoro, Cosi, Pho & Rolls, Carbón Peruvian Grill and Hair Cuttery.
Federal Realty recently announced that highly-touted Chinese chef Peter Chang will open a restaurant in Rockville Town Square in 2015. The Washington Post reported Chang’s restaurant will take Taste of Saigon’s 3,100-square-foot space and begin updating it as soon as it’s vacated.
When asked about the vacancies in August, Federal Realty issued a statement saying it’s continually looking for new dining options to add to the development and plans to announce new additions soon.