NH Restaurant Pho Keene Great's Name Ruled Profane

May 6, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

KEENE, NH — The name of a new restaurant in Western New Hampshire is meant to be a play on words but municipal officials aren’t laughing. The French-Vietnamese eatery Pho Keene Great in Keene is slated to open in March but City Manager Elizabeth Dragon ordered owner Isabelle Jolie to take down her sign. Dragon told New Hampshire Public Radio the name sounds profane.

The restaurant is located in Central Square in downtown Keene near the public library.

“We have to strike a balance because it is a public building,” Dragon told NHPR, adding she wants the restaurant to be successful.

Jolie argued the name of her restaurant isn’t offensive.

“We liked the name because it’s lighthearted and fun,” Jolie wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”

Jolie ran a poll on her restaurant’s Facebook page asking if the name is offensive and 97 percent of more than 3,400 voters said no.

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Jolie said she plans to meet with Dragon to resolve the issue and still plans to open on schedule March 1.

Photo credit: Pho Keene Great