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Posted on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Pho House set to re-open following temporary closing in late May

By Chelsea Hoedl


Pho House located at 2224 Washtenaw Ave in Ypsilanti Township.

Courtney Sacco I

Despite a street sign declaring "Pho House Now Open," the restaurant temporarily closed its doors in late May due to equipment failure, according to a note taped to the door.

Following a routine health inspection on April 2 that resulted in several health code violations, Pho House owners made the decision to close its doors at 2224 Washtenaw Ave., while it made some updates to its facilities.

Pho House originally opened in Ypsilanti Township in February of this year.

During the inspection, four priority violations were given to the restaurant, which are considered the most serious offenses. Included was storing meats bought from unapproved sources in the freezers, not properly cooling some items, having dirty preparation surfaces and having items sitting out at room temperature that should be refrigerated, according to the inspection report.

Violations also included five priority foundation violations and three core violations.

Kristen Schweighoefer, Environmental Health Supervisor with WCHD, said inspectors disposed of most of the restaurant’s food because it was being stored at improper temperatures and refrigerators weren’t properly working. Electrical issues also created problems for the restaurant.

While Schweighoefer said the health department didn’t force the restaurant to close, she did say closing was one of several options presented by the health department inspector to fix the problems. Ultimately, closing was a mutual decision.

“The restaurant decided to close while they were taking care of those items,” said Schweighoefer.

Schweighoefer said the restaurant plans to re-open some time in the next week, but did not have an exact date.

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at


Jessica Webster

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

I went back to Pho House last night for the first time in a few months. We shared banh mi and each ordered our own bowl of pho. It was delicious. The decor still leaves a lot to be desired, but I will keep coming back for that food.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.

Sounds disgusting. Will not be eating here.

Mike D.

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

I really wish they'd go back to making Thai and Laotian food. It was so good! The Pho I had there wasn't anything special. The violations aren't encouraging, but I have eaten worse and survived. Besides, there's nothing like a little food poisoning to drop a few pounds before swimsuit season.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

This establishment previously owned Bahn Na....just down the road on Wastenaw, and though I dined there many times (at my own risk), they had critical violations galore. Still, nothing kept me from their Drunken Noodles. I worry that they never learned their lessons from the previous foray into restaurant ownership. Since the closing of MisSaigon, quality Pho has been hard to find and I had high hopes for this restaurant. But thanks to this article, I will forego any visit. C'mon......get it together and clean it up!!!!

Joseph Maino

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Ha! The outside of the building speaks for itself. Come on people. Treat yourself right and avoid dining at aces where the appearance is shady. That's number 1. There's no way I'd go to any of the places at this spot. Take the damn satellite off the top. Invest in your own personal sign, revamp the entire outside of the place, etc. if owners aren't going to invest in the obvious issues out front, then they're not serious about how they handle food either. That was a clear sign that they know nothing about delivering properly handled food. This location has a long way to go before they any tenant gets my business.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

They were just making it as authentic as possible!


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

Now, that's funny.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

Pho House is great, I'm sure it will be even better now that the kitchen has been updated, I've worked in restaurants in the past & the inspections can be really subjective. I've gotten sick from restaurants with perfect scores & have been fine eating at more hygenically challenged establishments!


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

I worked in restaurants to pay my way through college. Most of the issues in the report were far from subjective and were quite serious and should not be taken lightly. Plus, they were more from the carelessness of the owners and their employees than anything else.

Chelsea Hoedl

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

Wendy Inhmathong-Travis, an affiliate of Pho House, said the restaurant has re-opened after working with health and building inspectors to renovate their kitchen


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Yeah sorry I can't justify paying for food at a place that has already bombed the food inspections and that also has the same sign up from a previously failed business. It is clear the owner does not know how to run and operate a restaurant. They will be back to their old habits with a dirty kitchen in no time.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Upon reading the health department inspection reports, it's clear to me that the owner/operator or the person-in-charge was counseled on what was required to be done in order to minimize food-born illness yet, it seems, the person-in-charge elected to ignore the requirements. I will NEVER visit this establishment.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:01 p.m. Take a look...... We should be fair and recognize that some more well established restaurants in the area have also received some negative health marks lately. It seems like maybe we should be looking at them as well. Just sayin....... Cash


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

Well, after this article, good luck getting any clientele thanks.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

People in the area love the place and swear by it. I am all for supporting small local businesses, but not when they are a risk to me or my family's health.

Amy Biolchini

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

The health department said they should be uploading the reports from its two follow-up visits in May soon to the online portal.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3 p.m.

Between the the nasty exterior, which really shows a lack of interest in the business and the very scary inspection report, this ptomaine palace won't be getting any of my business any time soon. The actual report is just plain scary when you read it. Evidently, when the report was written, this was at least the second time the inspector had been there. You can just feel the frustration in the report that the inspector felt their orders had been ignored.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10 p.m.

And most of the issues were not structural, they were with the way the owners and their workers handled the food. Closing and re-opening the place will not fix the issues of storing food on counters and a lack of cleanliness. I never made it to the place before it closed and I will not go anywhere near it now.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

Couldn't pay me enough to eat at this place. Blech.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

I saw Ptomaine Palace at the Blind Pig back in the '90s ... they rocked!

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

A little more background on the location since I've seen a few people mention Fat Philly's: Fat Philly's and Burgers closed less than six months after opening last July. Prior to Fat Philly's, the Fattoush Grill was housed at the same location. An employee of Fat Philly's at the time of the closing said it was possible the restaurant would locate somewhere else within the township or the city of Ypsilanti, but I haven't heard any plans yet for that. Here's a link to that restaurant closure story:


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Closed? I work across the street and never knew it was open! The large sign out front still says "Fat Philly's Burgers"...a previous restaurant. Unhealthy food and bad advertising...not a recipe for success.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

I just hope they do some landscaping so they look open when they re-open! The weeds out front don't give an inviting feeling!


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

makes me wonder if some of the problems caused the previous owner to close.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

Glad they closed down. Unfortunately with this many serious violations, I am doubtful they know what it takes to run a restaurant serving food in a safe manner.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Their food is great. They're being responsible by closing to fix the problems. I'll keep eating there.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

Hope the food still tastes as good when they reopen.

Tom Teague

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

You can read the actual inspection report by clicking the fourth link in the story -- highlighted "priority foundation violations." That takes you to the inspection site. Start typing pho and it should auto fill the rest. It's always been a two-step process to get to individual reports at the site.

Jay Thomas

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:21 a.m.

"storing meats bought from unapproved sources..." Inquiring minds want to know where the meat came from. Did it fall off a truck? Roadkill???

Amy Biolchini

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

I had the health department explain unapproved sources of meat to me this to me this week. You can buy a whole animal from a farmer -- or take an entire deer -- to a processing facility and use the meat for your personal use. That kind of animal product can't be used for commercial use because it's not USDA-inspected/approved.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

I think you will find food service establishments cannot use certain foods purchased from a retail outlet.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

Jay, I was going to ask the same thing. What's an "approved source", Meijers vs Wal-Mart?

Tom Teague

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

The owner said s/he was storing meat for personal use at the restaurant.

Shi Schultz

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

So this place had the previous tenants sign still up, "four priority violations were given to the restaurant, which are considered the most serious offenses." and "inspectors disposed of most of the restaurant's food because it was being stored at improper temperatures and refrigerators weren't properly working" Within the first 3 months of business? Really? I will be sure to frequent this establishment, there's literally no other like it in town…


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10:41 a.m.

Is it a health code violation to still have signage from the previous restaurant that occupied that space? Hopefully they're addressing that too. Good to see that they're coming back.

Tom Teague

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10:31 a.m.

I'm glad the restaurant decided to close to resolve the problems; it's a sign that the owners are seriously addressing the violations. The inspection report was very tough and, as much as I liked the place, I had decided not to return until I read that the issues were fixed. I wish them luck with the re opening and look forward to eating there again.