Viet 80's outdoor entrance

Viet 80’s on Friar Lane, Nottingham are fully open and have space for 120 customers, inside and out now for the first time following the national restrictions being eased on May 17.

This comes after the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced step three of the “roadmap back to normality”.

AUDIO: Boris Johnson outlines the new measures

What used to be Martin & Co on the corner of Friar Lane and Maid Marian Way has been revamped and given a vibrant, colourful new look and will offer the full experience of traditional Vietnamese street food in Nottingham city centre.

Viet 80’s are very new to the street food scene in Nottingham, as they have only been open five weeks, when the prior easing of restrictions permitted customers to eat outdoors.

The story behind the name of the restaurant comes from the owner of the restaurant Michael Cao, who was born in Vietnam and grew up in the 1980’s eating traditional Vietnamese food.

Viet 80’s manager and cashier

With the entire team all being from Vietnam it has been a dream of theirs to open up their own Vietnamese restaurant. The manager of Viet 80’s Nguyễn Thị Thanh Ngân, 20, said “we’ve prepared everything, we were careful for the opening and We’ve been very comfortable serving customers indoors today.”

Viet 80’s is just the second Vietnamese restaurant in the Nottingham area, with The Coco Tang Lounge being the other. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Ngân, 20, said: “We saw an opportunity for us to be able to offer customers a true authentic experience.”

“We serve culture as well as food here”

Viet 80’s Nguyễn Thị Thanh Ngân

The Viet 80’s manager believes because of the pandemic and previous government government guidance, referring to outdoor dining being permitted, that customers have not been able to see the inside of the restaurant and get a feel for the atmosphere they have to offer.

She also said: “We serve culture as well as food here and I think customers might like our authentic design we have and in the past month that’s something customers have missed out on.”

Viet 80’s wall art

Although indoor settings are now open, giving the public liberties they’ve not had for a while customers’ overall safety remains a top priority. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Ngân echoes this point: “We need to ensure our customers safety when they come to eat here.”

She added: “One of the steps is that we make sure that the table and seating areas are all thoroughly clean after each booking.

“We also need to make sure that we stay in line with the government guidance that no more than two households and the rule of six are both being regarded. 

“This way we can have better management of the restaurant better for both the safety of everyone and our staff included.”

Because the Vietnamese restaurant opened up during the pandemic they have not had a lot of chances to serve customers but the whole team hope that as things ease that as a consequence they will get busier.

Sources: CGA and AlixPartners

The data in the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners suggests that while many pubs and bars have also struggled to survive the pandemic, it is restaurants that have fared worst.

Across Britain, there are 9.7% fewer restaurants to choose from, compared with before the pandemic and the mid-market “casual dining” venues have fallen by 19.4%.