East Bay Vietnamese franchise Le Cheval, which just had to shutter its flagship, 250-seat downtown Oakland location due to lease issues, is being reborn, probably by this weekend. The staff is scrambling to open LCX (1019 Clay Street), just a few doors down the block in the former Crown Wok space near the corner of 11th and Clay, and they’re aiming for a Saturday opening. According to the Tribune, the new space is supposed to have better acoustics and about half the capacity: 110 seats. Also via the Tribune we learn some more of the restaurant’s history. Owner Tuyet Bui, now 80, opened the first restaurant in 1985 as a way to help support her family as a widowed mother of seven.
She named the restaurant after the Chinese zodiac sign of her oldest son, Tran, who was born in the Year of the Horse, 1954.
Bui plans to return to Vietnam soon, possibly for good, but the family legacy lives on. Her grandson, Quan Tran, will run LCX, and her son Tran plans to open another Oakland location of Le Cheval as well.