By RENEE CABATO
Tofu House SDSU celebrated its Grand Opening on Thursday, Nov. 18 with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the College Area Business District. Located just minutes from San Diego State University’s campus, the restaurant is Tofu Houses’ first franchise and aims to bring healthy Korean food to the College Area.
At the grand opening, a representative from the office of Supervisor Joel Anderson presented the owners with a Certificate of Recognition acknowledging their investment in the local business community and their addition of Asian food to the area.
Anderson stated, “I am happy to congratulate Tofu House on their new location and am excited to see how they contribute to our College Area community.”
Anh (Tony) Nguyen, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the CEO of the SDSU location and is joined by his business partners, Hien Nguyen and Hieu Nguyen.
When asked why the group chose College Area, Tony Nguyen explained that he noticed there were not many Korean restaurants in the area, and he wanted to bring “authentic Korean food” to the neighborhood. He chose to open Tofu House SDSU to offer healthy options with less meat and more vegetables.
A unique feature to Tofu House SDSU is its inclusion of a robot server, which reduces contact and minimizes safety risks for staff.
The opening of the franchised location is the first step to making Nguyen’s grand vision a reality: establishing a Convoy-like area near SDSU. The Convoy District in San Diego is known for its wide variety of Pan-Asian restaurants, shops, and services.
“When college students talk about [Korean] food, they’re normally talking about the Convoy area,” Nguyen said. “I will try to bring everything there to the College Area. My next project is going to be some dessert franchise. Pretty much whatever Convoy has, I would like to do here… so San Diego college students have another choice, another location to come and enjoy close by to school.”
College Area Business District Executive Director Jim Schneider expressed the community’s appreciation for the new restaurant.
“We enjoy welcoming new businesses to the College Area Business District and introducing them to the neighborhood,” he said. “We certainly appreciate their choice to invest in the College Area and a grand opening is our way of saying thank you.”
Nguyen was delighted to receive recognition for his efforts through the Grand Opening and certificate presentation. “I am putting myself out there to invest in the community,” he said. “It makes me happy that… somebody recognizes that.”
Tofu House SDSU is located at 6061 El Cajon Blvd in Suite 4 in the College Area.
— Renee Cabato is a legislative intern for Supervisor Joel Anderson.