We love dumplings, in any form, shape or denomination, so we were big fans of Little Saigon Cafe as they make all their happy dumplings from scratch, in-house, probably with the main ingredient being love or some such mushy nonsense. As you might remember, they started their business at the Stonestown farmers’ market as Happy Dumplings, and after becoming quite popular there, they decided to open a restaurant on Larkin under the name Little Saigon Cafe. But now, only half a year or so later, they have decided to sell it and focus their energy on their mobile operation at the farmers’ markets and Off the Grid events.
Naturally, we were devastated by the news that the neighborhood has lost their “juicy noodles” and dumplings we so loved. At the same time, we were happy to learn that the business taking over the space is Chairman Bao. Apparently they took over Little Saigon Cafe to turn it into the main kitchen for their food truck. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be open to the public so don’t get too excited just yet.
When we stopped by this afternoon all the chairs, tables and counter were already gone from the restaurant and two guys were already doing some work on the kitchen area. Moreover, a very nice fellow named Curtis we talked to (pictured above) told us that Chairman Bao also took over the old Baguette Express space next door, which they’re hoping to turn into a takeout counter. Yes groupies, get ready to place your Church of Bao altars there although it won’t be open for another few months (pending permits) and won’t be heavy on seating.
So, dear Tender readers, we bring you this news to you with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we’re really going to miss Little Saigon Cafe and will probably be too lazy to haul our asses all the way to Lakeside to eat their happy dumplings again. But on the other side, we’re happy that Chairman Bao will be joining our neighborhood if for no other reason than not seeing the storefronts of these two empty spaces become the official outdoor toilet on Larkin, and seeing a delicious business take over instead of becoming some kind of “broom emporium” or yet another SRO…