City Orders 'Pho Keene Great' Sign To Come Down

Credit: Pho Keene Great/Facebook

Credit: Pho Keene Great/Facebook

KEENE, NH (WBZ-AM) — A New Hampshire restaurant scheduled to open in March is raising some eyebrows and has prompted city officials there for a name change. 

"Pho Keene Great", a Vietnamese-French restaurant, owned by Isabelle Jolie, has a lease in the space next to City Hall.  When she put up a sign in the window she was quickly asked to take it down by City officials.

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle dish, and pronounced “fuh.”

Credit: Pho Keene Great/Facebook

Credit: Pho Keene Great/Facebook

WATCH BELOW: What is exactly is "Pho?"

Source: Zagat/YouTube

According to the restaurant's Facebook page, they picked the name "Pho Keene Great" because of it's light-hearted and fun.

"We liked the name because it’s lighthearted and fun. It’s a name that reflects Vietnam’s National dish, comfort food and our most popular culinary product, pho! Keene, of course, is the location and it’s really great Vietnamese food with a full-service bar featuring craft and specialty drinks," the post said.

Keene City Manager Elizabeth Dragon, tells WBZ NewsRadio, she quickly received complaints.

"When the sign when up, I did get a couple of complaints pretty quickly. So you know my concern is this going to be an issue for the community," she said. 

The City of Keene owns the property and Dragon said that the lease agreement states nothing can be placed on the building, that can be seen from the outside, without permission from the city.

While the sign has been removed from the building, the restaurant says through the Facebook post they hope to resolve this issue pending a meeting with Dragon and her team. 

The controversy over the name is already garnering attention on social media and over the airwaves.

Route101 Local Goods, an uncommon good artesian shop based in Keene, developed t-shirts with the "Pho Keene Great" logo which has already been sold out

The debate was a hot topic on "VB In The Middle", an afternoon call-in talk program WRKO-AM Thursday. 

Listen To The Pho Keene Great Debate on WRKO.

Show host Doug "VB" Goudie took calls and unofficial poll on the matter. According to VB, 90-percent of the calls into the show say that they didn't have a problem with the restaurant's name.

Representatives from Pho Keene Great tell WBZ NewsRadio that they will respond 

WBZ NewsRadio has reached out to Pho Keene Great for comment. This story will be updated with their response.

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