LINCOLN SQUARE — LC Pho And Grill’s expansion and renovation is at the finish line, but the owners have not yet announced when they’ll reopen.
The Vietnamese restaurant’s owners announced in April they were going to temporarily close to build inside the adjacent storefront.
“That is more than doubling our dining area, adding both male and female bathrooms, small vestibule to keep the restaurant cool during the summer and warm during the winters,” the owners said in a May 3 Facebook post.
On Tuesday, the restaurant’s facade showed a facelift and the interior looked updated, with tables set up for customers. A sign on the front window said “We look forward to serving you! Opening Soon.”
Messages left with the owners asking about when LC Pho And Grill would reopen were not immediately returned.
Torrance Ly, owner of LC Pho, first opened the business in 2014. He has said he was drawn to the area after witnessing the success of Nhu Lan Bakery, 2612 W. Lawrence Ave., which does a brisk business in bánh mì sandwiches.
“The more Vietnamese restaurants, the more people are going to come,” Ly told DNAinfo in 2015.
Ly has earned raves for his pho. The name LC Pho is a nod to Ly’s other enterprise, Lee Concessions, a familiar name to anyone who’s eaten at a street fest in Chicago.
Though he runs the two businesses quite differently — “The restaurant is all about quality, festivals are all about production,” Ly said. His signature street food item is grilled chicken on a stick.
Born in Vietnam to Chinese parents, Ly moved to Chicago in 1980. After graduating from Senn High School and the Illinois Institute of Technology with a “double E” degree in electrical engineering in 1989, Ly moved to Pennsylvania to take a job with Westinghouse.
It was there that he opened his first restaurant.
“All my life I was involved with food,” either working as a bus boy or waiter, he said. “Basically I could not get away from food.”
He returned to Chicago in 1996 after deciding to give up his day job in favor of his passion for cooking.
“I thought, ‘Do one thing and be good at it,'” Ly said.
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