This month, Dzô Bar and Grill opened at 7907 NE Glisan Street, offering a lineup of Asian-inspired cocktails and Vietnamese food. This Vietnamese American sports bar blends classic pub menu items with dishes like Phở and fried rice. The full bar offers a wide range of cocktails, imported beers, and microbrews. Patrons can watch a variety of games playing on four large-screen televisions while enjoying their drink or meal.
Owner, Sam Nguyen, explained that the bar’s name originates from a customary expression of celebration. “Dzô is pronounced yo in Vietnamese, and it just means cheers. It’s a tradition in Vietnam where they count 1-2-3-Dzô” before drinking. It represents the communal and friendly environment that Nguyen wants to cultivate inside her establishment.
Nguyen and her husband, Hao Le, started this bar as an enjoyable way to shift away from their demanding careers. Nguyen is a working physician assistant (PA), and the recent trend in her workplace has made it less fulfilling. “I just feel burnt out from my job, especially during COVID,” said Nguyen. Packed hospitals and heightened patient demands caused her to reconsider how she wanted to spend her workdays. Sam Nguyen found this space thanks to her sister, who owns the Thanh Billiards club next door. The building’s owner completely renovated the storefronts in 2020, leaving all but the billiards location vacant. This location, with built-in customers from the neighboring business, was just the opportunity Nguyen and Le were looking for.
The bar’s owners did not anticipate how long the City’s permitting process would take when starting the build-out process nearly two years ago. Fortunately, the landlord helped with the rent while they waited for permit approvals. The extended spin-up time allowed the owners to gradually create a well-finished interior. The newly built-out space features a modern rustic design with wainscoting wrapping the dinning-room and white subway tile framing the full kitchen. Colorful LED light strips highlight details throughout the bar, and directional overhead lighting creates a visual definition around each table.
Nguyen and Le are adjusting the drink and food menus over the next few months based on customer demand and feedback. However, some items are already a hit. Nguyen is particularly proud of their Lychee Lime Fizz cocktail and Phở. The owners have two staff helping them run the location, and they are open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Wednesdays. Stop by with some friends and toast with a “cheers” or “Dzô” as you see fit.
Promotion: Montavilla News has a Patreon account. We invite those who can contribute to this local news source to please consider becoming a paid subscriber or sponsor. We will always remain free to read regardless of subscription.