A reliable source says that the 2800 Milam shopping center in the middle of Houston's Vietnamtown is about to be demolished. Apparently, the owner plans to replace it with more Midtown apartments.
Here is some of what we will lose:
Le Bec Fin -- My favorite French cafe in Houston, and one of the best lunch places near downtown. (See my December 20, 2005 post.)
The Original Givrals -- Sandwich shop that makes the best, and cheapest, Banh Mi sandwiches in Midtown. (See my February 4, 2006 post).
Pho Tau Bay -- A good Pho shop.
Hoa Binh Supermarket -- A wonderfull little Vietnamese market.
The New Midtown of box apartments and young professionals is forcing out the old Vietnamtown. In 20 years, few people will remember why the street signs in this part of town are printed in Vietnamese.
I hate to see this wonderful bit of character and diversity leave the area near downtown. But at least it is moving elsewhere. The Vietnamese community and restaurants are thriving in Little Saigon - area officially bounded by the Bissonet, Gessner, the Westpark tollway, and Highway 6. I hear that Le Bec Fin will relocate to northwest Houston off of Antoine. And Pho Tau Bay already has another location off of Veterans Memorial.
If you work downtown, the next week may be your last chance to get a wonderful French lunch at Le Bec Fin or a Banh Mi sandwich at the Original Givrals.