Press Statement





The issue of our business name being cited as offensive or inappropriate is pending a meeting with the City Manager, Elizabeth Dragon.  We hope to resolve this issue in early February when all parties are able to convene.   In the interim and to be transparent, we will address misconceptions that some people may have surrounding this controversy


First, let’s address the City manager’s concern about the ‘play on words.’  Yes, it is a double entendre.  In the famous words of, Justice John Marshall Harlan II, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.”   We wanted it to be all the things that a business would need to engage its audience: catchy, memorable, creative, fun and to make it a conversation piece about Vietnam’s most famous comfort food, phở.   Of course, we wanted to put Keene, NH, in our marketing campaign since this was the location of our bar & restaurant.   Finally, we used an adjective that best described the greatness of this delicious Vietnamese national dish, phở (pronounce it as if you were asking a question, fuh? or fa?).  It also described the greatness of Keene, as well.    The double entendre was derived at innocently and yes, there is a back story for another time.  The goal was to bring people together by offering specialized cocktails and craft beers along with great French-Vietnamese food to an area that was deficient in cultural diversity.  It was that simple.  No offense was ever intended.  

Second, we revealed our official business name in an e-mail that was dated, February 21, and it was ratified in our contract on April 2, 2018. 

Third, the temporary sign that we placed in our window on December 21, on the interior side, was removed in compliance with the city manager’s request.  It was only displayed for less than a week.  Permitting issues remain unclear until a meeting with the city manager occurs.  

Fourth, we do not have any plans on changing our business name. We have spent many thousands of dollars investing in this venture because we believed in every aspect of our concept and that includes the branding and marketing of our business name. We have a tentative opening date of, March 1, 2019, and would like the blessings of Keene City government to have an exterior sign with our business name on it.  We will open with a limited menu of Vietnam’s most popular and well-known dishes with a full-service bar featuring locally made craft beers and special Vietnamese libations. To view the menu:

We have received tremendous support not just in the United States, but, world-wide: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, UK, Hong Kong.  People are reaching out to us on every conceivable level and we are grateful. As you can see, we put Keene back on the map and hope to see you in March.   Thank you.

Pho Keene Great t-shirts, can be purchased by the only authorized t-shirt vendor: Route 101, Local Goods, Keene, NH.  603-499-4949.