Good morning Froggy Bottom.
The owners of Froggy Bottom Pub – one of the neighborhood’s most popular hangouts – will soon be opening a restaurant and motel a world away based on the Pennsylvania Avenue venue.
Hien Bui has owned the Froggy Bottom Pub for seven years. Along with her husband, Hoang, she plans on opening a Froggy Bottom Pub in suburban Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Both migrated from Vietnam a few years after the Communist takeover of the southern part of the country in 1975. Hoang spent five years in a labor camp.
“If I have the business in both locations, the other can be run by my family,” Bui said. “It’s owned by me right now, but it will become the family’s business.”
The Saigon pub will cater to American tourists and will be located in a beach resort area about an hour from downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Bui said.
“We have a building, right now. It’s a family vacation home, and that’s a waste,” Bui said. “This winter we will fly the interior designer back home with us and we will begin the construction.”
Bui said several of her family members will fly back and forth to work in both Froggy Bottom Pub locations in D.C. and Vietnam until eventually they can move to the United States in five years.
Bui, a native of Thailand, said another reason for opening the restaurant is to give her an excuse to go back to Ho Chi Minh City; she said she has not been there in seven years.
Bui is planning on running a tour of southern Ho Chi Minh City out of the new pub and bed and breakfast. She plans on having American visitors make arrangements through her to fly to Vietnam and stay at the restaurant and motel during the tour.
“She’s excited. She wants it to be for American tourists,” said Froggy Bottom Pub waiter Pip Colvin, 23. “A lot of students from here can go over around spring break time.”
Bui described conditions that she thinks will make her site ideal for vacations.
“The water is always warm, the beach is clean, the sand is white,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”