New Ownership for Phuc Loi in South St. Louis

Jennifer Silverberg
The interior of Phuc Loi, circa 2009
A reader tipped me off to an ownership change at Phuc Loi (3723 Gravois Avenue; 314-772-7742), the tiny Vietnamese restaurant just west of the Gravois Avenue-South Grand Boulevard intersection.

Phuc Loi became a favorite spot of mine after I reviewed it three years ago. I included its banh mi dac biet on my list of 100 Favorite St. Louis Dishes, and Phuc Loi itself earned a spot on last year's list of the "Top Five Vietnamese Restaurants in St. Louis".

A sign announcing that the restaurant is under new management graced the front window when I stopped by this morning, and an employee confirmed the changed. The space itself doesn't loom much different, though I did notice that the restaurant's steam tables, where a selection of dishes used to be available, weren't currently in use.

I picked up a copy of the to-go menu, which looks essentially the same as before. As for whether the change in ownership has changed the quality of the food, I can't say yet. Any fellow Phuc Loi fans who've happened to eat there recently care to comment?

As for the previous ownership, my tipster related that they might be looking at a new venture. More as I learn it.

Location Info

Phuc Loi

3723 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

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Any update on this? I'm hoping to find out where the previous owners went.

I ate here the first week the new owners took over and I have to disagree with Adrian about the new place. It may be a little cleaner looking and they have newer "fancier" dishes but the food was just not as good - at least what I tried which was the Pho and the Bun. The old owners used to put all kinds of herbs and peanuts and pork cracklins in the Bun. It was much more true to vietnam. The new food is boring, imho.


Fellow fan here, who has hardly eaten Vietnamese on Grand (if you're honest with yourself, you'll admit they're all shit) since the original Phuc Loi owners left. Having dined in and out a few times, I can confirm the food is much improved from the tenure of owner #2 -- better broth, better presentation, better quality everything. And they have fucking shrimp paste on the table, which smells like a locker room but is integral to a few of the soups.

Here's hoping they make use of the steam tables, which were wasted on the previous owner (owner #2 for those keeping track) and sweets and specials half as good as the original. The bahn mi is also better but needs some fine-tuning. Overall, though, and soup-wise, as good if not better than the original. Which makes it easily the best Vietnamese on Grand and therefore the city.

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