Vu moves on: Zinc chef changes pho-cus

Zinc's Vu Nguyen has announced that he's sold the the West Main Street restaurant and that the last official day with the chef/owner at the helm with be this Saturday, June 29. Six and a half years ago, Nguyen and former partner Thomas Leroy took over the space that was then called Station, having been a former service station renovated into a restaurant. Eventually, Nguyen and Leroy parted ways, and just last summer Nguyen opened Moto Pho Co. across the street, which he'll now be able to focus on full time.

"It's been a tough, fun, frustrating, enlightening, debaucherous, humbling, hazy, and delicious run," declares Nguyen on the restaurant's Facebook page. "Now it's time to say farewell. "

Nguyen says a lot of factors went into his decision to sell, but the biggest, he says, was a desire for a better quality of life.

"I want an opportunity to experience all the things I've had to sacrifice over the years," he says. "I can check a full-service restaurant off my life's to-do list. Now it's on to the next adventure in life. I'll still be at Moto of course, but that's a different beast with different challenges."

Nguyen says he'll miss his guests, especially the loyal repeat customers–– and his staff, of course.

"And I'll probably get nostalgic about cooking this kind of food and the entertainment factor implicit in working in an open kitchen," he says.

Unfortunately, Nguyen says he's not at liberty to discuss the plans of Zinc's new owners. As for Moto, he says the place hasn't yet received the attention and nurturing it's deserved.

"I'm going to work on exposure and publicity, with signage, promotions, and things," he says. "The menu will remain the same for the most part, just with more quality control with my supervision."

Carmello's reappears

Oh, and here's bit of hot-breaking food news. When we called the number for Copacabana, the Brazilian restaurant in Shoppers World on Route 29 North, who should answer the phone but Bill Hedges, the long-time owner of Carmello's? Hedges had to vacate his space on Fontaine Avenue last November for "non-payment of rent," according to the building's owner, Paul Boukourakis. According to Hedges, however, they're in the process of remodeling the Copacabana space and plan to be serving up the "same Carmello's menu we've had for the last 22 years." No word yet on when they will be open, but stay tuned.


Too include Zinc and Carmellos in the same articule shows the wide variety of food in Cville, from great to bad.

And I would assume that you think real Italian food is "Olive Garden" right? That's as much culinary knowledge you have.