‘Saigon Social’ Takes Former Mission Cantina Space on Orchard Street

Posted on: April 3rd, 2019 at 5:05 am by

In the three years since Mission Cantina ditched Hell Square, the real estate has been a vacant mess. Pitched as a prime restaurant opportunity for just as long, the store instead became a magnet for graffiti. Now, another potential taker is queued for the corner space at Orchard and Stanton Streets.

Interest in the space hasn’t waned, though. Other suitors previously expressed interest in the interim – some of whom appeared briefly on Community Board 3 agendas – yet all fizzled.

And now Helen Nguyen is on the SLA subcommittee docket for a Vietnamese restaurant called Saigon Social. This is the first brick-and-mortar push for the business, which, until now, hosted culinary pop-ups featuring Vietnamese culture and cuisine. Nguyen seeks a full liquor license for the endeavor.

As for an extended (recent) history of 172 Orchard, chef-owner David Bowien opened the Mexican-Chinese establishment in 2013, just a few short months after he pulled the plug on the OG Mission Chinese in the sub-level rat trap down the block. Bowien is now headquartered on East Broadway next to 169 Bar. (Noodle Bar and Zoso’s Juice and Grille preceded him.)

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