There’s a second location of DD Mau under construction, this time in Chinatown underneath Fortune Sound Club at 145 East Pender Street. If you’re aware of and dig their tiny Yaletown spot (1239 Pacific Blvd), you’re in for a bit of a surprise as this one will be massive in comparison, complete with a voluminous commissary kitchen that will serve both addresses. I’m already imagining the smell of the place, and it’s so good!
You wouldn’t know if from the street and its sliver of sidewalk frontage, but the narrow opening widens out to some 3000 sqft, less than half of which will be dedicated to floor space, so 50 seats and an 8 seat bar. They’ll be serving up the same delicious banh mi sandwiches that they’re known for, not to mention pho and plenty of southern Vietnamese home cooking besides. I expect they’ll do an especially brisk takeout trade with the Fortune crowd (befitting the name, a riff on di di mau – Vietnamese for “go go quickly”). They’re also pursuing a liquor license, which is new for them, as there isn’t one at the original in Yaletown.
Owners Kim Tran and Kon Tran were kind to show me around the site late last week. I was taken aback by the size, having forgotten that it used to be the main floor of Mings Famous Chinese Foods, the gigantic banquet hall and restaurant (I found the old 1970s shot above via the CoV Archive). A lot of work has already been done (possession was back in December), but there are some cool relics from Mings kicking around, like the old dumbwaiter — the oldest one I’ve ever seen. You can check it out (and more) in the gallery below. You’ll see they still have a long way to go. They aren’t expecting to open until late 2016.