By Danielle Carbonari, Loyola Student News Service
Veteran managers of the celebrated Vietnamese restaurant Magasin have bought Tru Burger on Oak Street, but while they plan to add a few new twists, they said they primarily intend to stay true to its founder’s original vision.
Amy Doan, her sister, Lein Doan and Lein’s husband, Hung Nguyen bought Tru Burger from Patois founder Aaron Burgau in late August.
The family’s management history began when they all helped manage Nguyen’s parents’ restaurant, Magasin on Magazine Street. Amy managed the restaurant for four years and during that time the restaurant was on the list of top three Vietnamese restaurants in New Orleans.
“A good restaurant is not only about food but good management and that is what I truly believe,” Amy Doan said.
The restaurant’s new management team recently had an advertising opportunity to have a booth for VooDoo Music + Arts Experience. Representatives from the Halloween festival approached Lein about having a Vietnamese-themed booth.
“They asked me to do a Vietnamese booth and use my in-laws’ restaurant but I didn’t want to use that name because I wanted to represent Tru Burger. We bought this business for our family and I want to build our name and have them recognize us for what we do,” Lein said. “They already had a burger booth so I decided to do ‘Tru Vietnamese’ to tie the names together.”
Hung Nguyen, who serves as head chef since the management change, said he didn’t want to make any major changes immediately but rather wanted to take some time to get adjusted in the restaurant.
“I want to focus more on eating healthy. I want to do a tofu burger because the only thing we have is the veggie burger, but it’s actually fried,” Nguyen said.
Tru Burger has been around for more than five years and has some loyal customers that have seen improvements with the restaurant already.
“It’s a lot friendlier coming in here now and the consistency of the food is a lot better because it was really hit or miss before,” said Benjamin Strange, a customer of over four years.
Although the team is still settling into the restaurant and making minor changes, they will make decorative changes and menu additions. However, they will not be removing any food from the menu because they want to respect the original items by Chef Aaron. They feel that since Tru Burger is an established restaurant and has good clientele their improvements will make the restaurant even better.
“My main goal is to really meet customer needs. For instance, before they would call numbers for customers to come and get their food but we’ve changed it around to where we now give the customers a number to put on their table and we bring the food out to them,” Amy Doan said. “So it’s just things like this that we think would be more convenient for our customers.”
The Loyola Student News Service features reporters from advanced-level journalism classes at Loyola University New Orleans, directed by faculty advisers.