Fred Hua, a former shoe salesman turned line cook, opened his first restaurant in 2008. Serving a mix of traditional and creative Vietnamese fare, he named his business Nhà Tôi (translation: “My House”). He ran that house, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for five years, becoming a fixture in the neighborhood until unaffordable rent increases drove him to close down.
Seeking a more creative, community-oriented life, Hua partnered with two art-loving friends to open Nhà Minh (translation: “Our House”). Located in one of Brooklyn’s warehouse districts, their venture is equal parts coffee shop, restaurant and art gallery. While the simple strengths of Hua’s cooking bring in enough cash to make the shop financially viable, their bi-monthly gallery openings demonstrate why the space exists at all. Each opening transforms Nhà Minh into a showcase for a local artist, and for one night eaters, art fans and anyone else who happens to stumble in are drawn together by the warmth of a good meal.