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why do so many vietnamese restaurants have numbers in their names?

ramonasaur Apr 1, 2010 08:42 PM

pho 75 -- pho 38 -- pho 95 -- pho 9n9 -- pho so 1:

why are so many pho places named with numbers?

some of these are clearly named after the road they're on.
but pho 75? there's a gajillion apparently unrelated pho 75s.

does anyone know why this is?

  1. n
    nooyawka Jun 17, 2010 06:50 AM

    hmmm...i'm not sure the links clear it up (as on point as they are "why-do-pho-restaurant-names-have-numbers-vietnamese.html" lol), but they're interesting. The writer says he's speculating. Would really have to ask the individual owners.

    And I still pronounce "pho" like a gringo - "foe". lol

    1 Reply
    1. re: nooyawka
      julietf Apr 6, 2011 05:31 PM

      It dates back to the requirement that the State mandate that restaurants in Vietnam have their addresses embedded in their name. And from there, the numbers take on traditional and spiritual value.

    2. chuynh Jun 17, 2010 12:45 AM

      Well here’s my theory – an educated one, that is. The numbers may be the years that carry some significance to the owners/restaurateurs and their families or even an important date in Vietnamese history. Many of these numbers are often used as a remembrance of a new start in a new country, of the year when they left Vietnam, maybe the year when they arrived, or the year of some other important personal event.

      The year 1954 was when the country Vietnam was split into North Communist Vietnam and South Vietnam or the Republic of Vietnam. This was also when many north Vietnamese migrated with their pho to the south. The year 1975 was when South Vietnam was lost to communism. This was the start of Vietnamese leaving the country in large numbers. Over more than 15 years after 1975, about 2 million Vietnamese refugees and “boat people” escaped the country looking for freedom elsewhere. Hence Pho 79, Pho 86, Pho 90, etc. may as well represent significant years for the restaurateurs.

      How about Pho 777, Pho 888 and others? I think those are just easy numbers to remember, or lucky numbers for the owners. From a marketing standpoint, numbers are very easy to remember for both Viet-speaking and non-Viet-speaking clientele. So it can’t be bad. They just look and sound funny, but they work well.

      There was definitely a period between 1975 and maybe mid 1990's that these numbers carry the historical significance. After that, with the younger generation, many numbers may lean more toward the latter explanation above. Extracted from my blog http://bit.ly/12NhaF

      1. flylice2x Apr 6, 2010 12:28 AM

        The PHO Restaurant near my house is named PHO SO 1 becasue the
        owner wants to open another called PHO SO 2 and PHO SO on....

        1 Reply
        1. re: flylice2x
          BobB Apr 6, 2010 08:10 AM

          Imagine if the Greeks did this. You could end up dining at a restaurant called Phyllo So 4. Food for thought... ;-)

        2. Tripeler Apr 5, 2010 07:46 PM

          I wonder if some of the numbers chosen have interesting homonymns in Vietnamese, or perhaps some interesting meanings.

          1. m
            michaelnrdx Apr 1, 2010 10:21 PM

            Yea, the names aren't very creative. There are just too many Pho restaurants.

            3 Replies
            1. re: michaelnrdx
              EWSflash Apr 5, 2010 07:44 PM

              Well, it could be worse, we could have too few pho restaurants.

              1. re: EWSflash
                ramonasaur May 3, 2010 06:25 PM

                ewsflash, i'm with you.

                1. re: EWSflash
                  Bada Bing May 4, 2010 06:38 AM

                  Here in Northern Indiana, we DO have too few!

              2. bitsubeats Apr 1, 2010 10:15 PM



                4 Replies
                1. re: bitsubeats
                  ramonasaur Apr 5, 2010 02:06 PM


                  1. re: bitsubeats
                    bulavinaka May 3, 2010 06:35 PM

                    As bitsubeats' links indicate, it's all about Asian cultures and their numbers, luck, superstition, and gambling. Numerology is huge, particularly among Chinese and Vietnamese (but not to exclude others like the Burmese). Heck, we couldn't get married without my Malaysian Chinese mother-in-law first consulting a numerologist back in 1996 on what date would be the most fortuitous - July 7th, or 07/07. Well, I'm still waiting for good luck to shower me with billions of ringgit, Ben Franklins, Euros, whatever, but most importantly, I have the best wife in the world - priceless. Still rolling sevens in that category!

                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      FrankD May 4, 2010 12:38 AM

                      Yep, when I married my Chinese wife, it was the same thing - August 8, 1988 (that's 8/8/88; the Chinese love that number). But for restaurant names, they want a rich sounding name, which they think will help bring prosperity - that's why there are so many "golden", "silver", "king", "queen", "emerald", "jade" or "pearl" adjectives. I'm still waiting to see the "Emerald Palace of the Golden King and Silver Queen", but I don't expect it to be long.

                      1. re: FrankD
                        bulavinaka May 4, 2010 12:41 PM

                        >>Emerald Palace of the Golden King and Silver Queen", but I don't expect it to be long...<<


                  2. r
                    ramonasaur Apr 1, 2010 08:45 PM


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