Oct. 8, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
Zen Yai, a popular Vietnamese and Thai noodle bar destroyed in the Queens Boulevard fire in December of last year, is set to have its grand opening in Williamsburg this weekend.
The new restaurant is located at 208 Grand St., a few blocks away from the Williamsburg Bridge, and will have its grand opening this Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The first 50 customers to visit the restaurant this weekend will get a complimentary bottle of beer. Owner Bryan Chunton said that the restaurant would also be giving away free appetizers at various times throughout the weekend.
Chunton said that he planned to open a Williamsburg location even before the five-alarm fire on Queens Boulevard on Dec. 13 last year. Chunton also said that he still plans to reopen a restaurant in Sunnyside soon near the original 45-04 Queens Blvd location.
The new restaurant will be more than double the size of the Sunnyside location and will be able to hold approximately 60 people.
The Williamsburg location will retain much of the original menu which includes varieties of pho, stir-fry noodle dishes, rice bowls, and curry. Cafe beverages like coffee and tea will also be served.
Chunton has secured a full-liquor license for the Williamsburg restaurant which will include a fully stocked bar.
Chunton has also been able to add new items to the menu, such as Hainanese chicken rice and Thai curry noodles, thanks to the new location’s larger kitchen. He also plans to add Vietnamese barbeque dishes in the future.
The restaurant is currently offering two main courses for $18 on its new menu.
Zen Yai will offer counter service to customers during lunch hours, while it will offer table service at dinner time. The Sunnyside location only offered counter service.
The new restaurant will open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, and will open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, the restaurant will open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.