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Why Le Pho Keeps Delaying Its Opening at The Juhl

Co-owner Puoy Premsrirut talks setbacks at the Vietnamese restaurant coming to Downtown Las Vegas.

Le Pho
Le Pho
Bradley Martin

Wondering why Khai Vu’s Le Pho going into the Juhl seems to be in a constant state of delay? Blame the permitting and inspections process. Vu planned the Vietnamese restaurant as a complement to his District One in Chinatown.

Co-owner Puoy Premsrirut says strict venting and "air scrubbing" requirements forced the restaurant to install a custom-manufactured hood and air scrubber to meet the city’s requirements. “This $80,000 line item was a beast to make and install, and even required two forklifts to take delivery when it arrived via semi truck,” Premsrirut says.

The grease trap has been no kinder to Le Pho. Plans with the city indicated that there wasn’t a grease trap, but once Le Pho started construction, Premsrirut and Vu discovered it was there and too big. “[It’s] seemingly counterintuitive, but that has been our longstanding obstacle for the last several months,” says Premsrirut, an attorney whose husband is a general contractor. Premsrirut is also a part owner in Le Thai, the downtown Thai restaurant from Dan Coughlin. 

“First, I want everyone to know that we are, and always have been busting our tails to get this project completed and opened,” she says. “It's in our best interest to do so. Secondly, [this is] a cautionary tale to those building anything in the city, and also in a city high rise. Even with the best intentions and helpful assistance, road blocks and obstacles are omnipresent.…We promised downtown a Vietnamese restaurant that would expand on the culture at Le Thai, and believe we have persevered through the super thick and seldomly thin.”

So stay tuned. Le Pho is still coming.

The Juhl

353 East Bonneville Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89101