When Yenvy Pham’s parents opened their own restaurant in 1982, it was because they didn’t like working for other people.
The couple, who had arrived in Seattle a year earlier from Vietnam, initially sold American sub sandwiches out of their little shop on the edge of Seattle’s International District. On weekends, Pham’s mother would make phở for their Vietnamese friends, who suggested they serve it at the sub shop. Within two months, it became a full-time phở spot called Phở Bắc. It was one of the first phở restaurants in Seattle.