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LUCKY CORNER

A Story of Excellence and Passion for Service 

Article by Arliss Veldhuizen

Photography by Empire Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

Welcome to Lucky Corner, a family-owned Vietnamese restaurant bathed in elegant dim lighting and savory aromas. With graceful light fixtures dotting the ceiling, plush leather booths to sink into and calm, friendly staff to serve you, one step into this place is a step into a state of relaxation and phenomenal hospitality. Lucky Corner has more than earned its raving reviews from locals and visitors alike, but the journey here was certainly a long, hard road.

The story begins with a family, looking for a fresh start and better prospects. Hailing from Vietnam, Pha Huynh and his family were headed to the United States to to pursue their dream. Traveling by boat and with two children, the voyage was a risky one—and with the youngest crying nonstop, they had to make an impossible decision: get caught and face the consequences, or split up and try the longer route when the time was right. They chose the latter, leaving son, Trung Huynh, and mother, Ha Duong, in Vietnam while Huynh and his daughter made their way to the States. It took ten years, a season as refugees in Thailand, two more failed voyages and persistently hard work on Pha’s part before Ha and Trung were finally able to join their father and sister.

“...my father migrated here when he was younger with my sister—empty-handed—and just worked his way to where we are today…I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my father, who did all the paperwork and got my mom and myself over here,” Trung shared. 

But that hard work and perseverance has led Pha Huynh to far more than a joyous reunion with his family in their long-awaited destination.

With a catering business back home in Vietnam, cooking has always been a family affair, and Pha Huynh wasted no time putting that experience to work when he arrived to his new home. He went from taking dishwashing positions in restaurants to earning his title as an award-winning chef with the luxurious Grand Hyatt Washington hotel. As he continued to embark down the chef path, his skills were sharpened and broadened—along with the types of cuisine he became familiar with—and a burgeoning desire to open his own restaurant was revealing itself.

Pha began searching for the perfect location to pursue this dream, but heavy competition and expensive rent led him to continue his search. As he made his way northward through Maryland, he finally stumbled upon the original Lucky Corner location on 7th and North Market that was for salle. It was just what he’d been looking for!

From then on, Pha and his wife Ha worked hard to transform Lucky Corner into something of their own by resolving preexisting issues and introducing new items and systems—but they didn’t keep the hard work to themselves. In fact, it seems diligence runs in the family, as that’s what lured their son, Trung, into the business.

“I did not want to get into the restaurant business…” Trung explained. “I was just trying to pursue my career in business management…but then my dad just said, ‘Hey, I need your help”…so I was not going to leave him all by himself…I hopped on board to help him out. I started in the kitchen and my love for food just grew from there.”

With hard work and service instilled in him through the example of his parents, Trung set his future plans aside to support the family business when they needed him. Now, they’re a local favorite.

Fast forward 16 years to today, Lucky Corner is housed in a bigger, better location in Westview Promenade, with Pa Huynh, Trung Huynh and Ha Duong all still working tirelessly to make Lucky Corner stand apart from the rest—and it shows. Guests come back on repeat for consistently delectable Vietnamese and pan-Asian meals and incredible service to match. Having accumulated a rating of almost 5 stars out of nearly 1,000 Google reviews, the perseverance, excellence and diligence of Pha and his family are so evident you can taste it. You can taste it in their perfectly-sweetened Vietnamese coffee, their melt-in-your-mouth cubed steak and potatoes, their satisfyingly crispy spring rolls and their expertly pan-seared Chilean Sea Bass. But that’s not all that makes them special.

“...We’re almost like the one stop shop. I say that because over the years, we’ve learned from different customers to see what kind of food people like—so trying to cater to all different ethnicities…that way they’re happy when they come in because they know they can always find something on the menu that they’ll enjoy,” Trung explained. 

Lucky Corner aims to serve something for everyone. They proudly serve everything from pan-Asian favorites such as Pad Thai and Pineapple Fried Rice, to Vietnamese specialties like Coco Beef and Caramelized Pork, to Lucky Corner novelties like their Cubed Steak and Potatoes or Black Pepper Shrimp and Scallop. 

When you dine at Lucky Corner, you’re not just grabbing a bite to eat. You’re supporting a family whose endured the impossible to get here, and they continue working with diligence to deliver the best. LuckyCornerRestaurant.com

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