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Those who patronized Dino’s Grotto in Shaw definitely won’t recognize the first floor of the restaurant, which is now Nineteen-Fourteen. The space contains a replica of a 20th century Vietnamese train car that would have cruised through the extraordinarily narrow “Train Street” in Hanoi. The municipal government of the Vietnamese city closed Train Street—and its small, vibrant cafes—in 2019. “It’s a historic place for people in Hanoi,” says manager Ha Quan. “We decided to bring it here.”
Nineteen-Fourteen soft opens Saturday at 1914 9th St. NW. To start, its hours will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Quan says they may close on Tuesdays. The hours will be longer once they mark their grand opening later this summer.
The truncated soft opening menu aims to give customers a taste of what’s to come. It includes broken rice with barbecue pork ribs or chicken, barbecue pork rice noodles with vegetables, vegan phở, and chicken phở. Drinks include Vietnamese coffee, milk tea, and lychee oolong tea, to which customers can add boba. Quan says the restaurant is currently going through the liquor license application process.
Quan says their eventual goal is to showcase Vietnamese dishes that are less familiar to people than phở. “We try to focus on secondary popular foods,” she says. “And bring fresh air to the Asian cuisine community.”
Nineteen-Fourteen is operated in partnership with Kolben Conceptor. They’re behind Texas concepts Kolben Food Gallery, Phi Coffee & Tea, Kinju Tokyo Cuisine, and Luk Dim Sum.
Currently there’s only indoor seating.
Nineteen-Fourteen, 1914 9th St. NW; 1914kolben.com