A tipster shared both with us and Eater that Williamsburg's and bánh mì-and-more mainstay Silent H will close for business next week and reopen as a Mexican place. Owner Vinh Nguyen has confirmed that the restaurant is closing on December 23 and that the space will open with added partners and a new concept sometime next spring. He is, however, keeping the new menu under wraps for now. "Save for the bricks," he said, "everything will change. Even the knives will be new." And what will be on the new menu? "There will be great value and inspired recipes on the new menu, and the energy behind the next project is absolutely amazing. But beyond that, I can't give away what we're serving. I can tell you that we have the sensibility of our friends and neighbors in mind."
The two-year-old restaurant is switching formats because of the economy, says Nguyen. "I've lost a lot of money in the past year. I began working on Silent H two years before it opened. Closing it will allow me to continue to cook in a neighborhood I love so much, my home of seven years. I would like to one day reopen Silent H. It just won't happen for a while."
And what of Nguyen's mother, known to hop behind the line to assemble the restaurant's summer rolls? "My mother is approaching 70," the chef says. "She won't be involved in the next menu, and I will miss serving her summer rolls. She lives with my sister in Arizona now, where she continues to cook the original versions of Silent H's menu for our family out there."