Vietnamese Phocific Standard Time Cocktail Bar opens in downtown Seattle

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Just outside of downtown Pho Bac at 1923 7th Avenue is a sandwich sign that says “PST Bar Upstairs” with an arrow pointing up. The sign is easy to ignore in a bustling area between the city center and the Denny Triangle, but for those who venture into the bright pho restaurant and head upstairs, a cozy, dimly lit bar above the uproar awaits you. Phocific Standard Time (PST) is the latest addition to the pho business inherited from the Pham family: a cocktail bar with drinks made with Vietnamese ingredients and flavors.

Co-owners and sisters Yenvy and Quynh Pham opened the underground bar-style bar on Friday, October 1, above the fourth location of their local chain Pho Bac (Yenvy also opened the Vietnamese café Hello Em in early 2021). The PST offers bar seating and a handful of small tables, perfect for a date night, reconnecting with an old friend, or as a relaxing destination after work, especially when employees return downtown after the pandemic. Plans are underway to add jasmine plants to the small bar, making it look even more like a “Vietnamese-style treehouse,” as its Instagram profile describes.

“I want customers to feel at home, but also to be pleasantly surprised,” says Yenvy. “You come to this space above a pho store: it’s intimate, it’s cozy, you feel welcome and you have this menu in front of you with things you don’t usually see.”

PST’s drink menu includes around eight cocktails made with Vietnamese ingredients like pandan leaf, Chartreuse egg yolk cream, and pho broth. Nuoc Mat, a bright and sweet drink, contains jasmine, Mediterranean tonic Fever Tree, Cocchi Americano, soju, and longan (a relative of lychee). Dua Dua contains Batavia arack, Chareau Aloe, soju, wormwood, coconut milk and lime, with basil seeds adding flavor and a pleasant texture. Trung Muoi is made with Iwai Japanese whiskey washed with pho fat, cream sherry, nocino, carcavelos and salted egg yolk.

PST bar manager Katharine Frazier started working with the Pham sisters in July as they began to develop their drinks. “We had an instant connection,” Yenvy says of Frazier. “She was able to translate all of these different flavors into drinks in a sophisticated and interesting way, while maintaining the integrity of Vietnamese culture.”

Quynh oversaw a small selection of natural wines and beers, and Yenvy put together a small menu of playful snacks to complement the drinks. There are pastry pockets filled with pate, potatoes and mushrooms; and a trio of pies with pho fat, mushroom tofu and canned fish tomato pies, served with sesame crackers and marinades. Cua Dip is made with crab, shrimp, Vietnamese mayonnaise, melted cheese and basil, served with crackers. The menu also includes Pho Bac’s pho cups – a cup-style take-out option of Pho Bac noodles developed during the pandemic – with beef, chicken, shrimp, and veggie options. The menu of savory and savory dishes goes well with PST cocktails.

The idea for PST mainly came from Khoa Pham, brother of Yenvy and Quynh who passed away suddenly in March 2020. The concept of a sweatshop / tree house above a bustling pho restaurant was “definitely run by my brother, ”says Yenvy. Khoa was the financial director of the family business and a community leader. The city of Seattle established April 21 as Khoa Pham Day, in recognition of its influence and activism. Honoring his memory is the Khoa Was Here drink, a shot of Jameson washed in pho fat with pho broth.

TVP is located on the second floor at 1923 7th Avenue in Seattle; open in5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

1227 S Weller Street, Seattle, WA 98144



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