Iconic Lido restaurant reopens in Asian neighborhood of Oklahoma City
Barely three months after saying goodbye to Asian Quarter icon Lido restaurant, it’s back with new owners, fresh paint, and all your old favorites.
Long-time Lido regulars Quan and Tanh Nguyen bought the business and, with the help of their son Chris and daughter Elaine, relaunched the business founded by Tai Ly and operated by son Eric Ly for 30 years.
The Nguyens couldn’t stand there and let their favorite restaurant close, so they contacted Eric Ly and bought the business to renovate and reopen it, but not much else.
âThe Lido is a hidden gem that has resided in the heart of the Asian Quarter for so long that we couldn’t imagine it closing,â said Chris Nguyen. “We will run the store as a family, just like Eric Ly and his family have done over the years.”
The Nguyen were drawn to the restaurant for many reasons, but the food and the people behind it were really influenced.
âWe love to share our Asian culture with the community and we are invested in preserving the integrity of the food because it has remained popular with so many regulars,â said Chris Nguyen.
To make sure things are the way they wanted, the Nguyen brought back the chefs, waiters, and recipes that made Lido so popular.
âThe past year has been difficult for the community, so we’re happy to be able to provide jobs and a place to meet, especially after the pandemic, which has caused so many businesses to shut down,â Nguyen said. “We hope to continue to operate this restaurant for many years to come.”
The restaurant opened quietly on July 2, informing only a few regulars to get the ball rolling. I came for lunch before the opening on Friday and saw a lot of familiar faces in the refreshed dining room. The menu has been reprinted, but you won’t find many changes in the content – much to Lido Nation’s relief.
The sweet and sour soup arrived as viscous and tangy as my palate remembered it, and the bowl of grilled shrimp vermicelli took me back to the days of listening to Green Day on tape with the top down in a little red Alfa Romeo for dinner on the way back to Edgemere Park.
At that time, the Lido paved the way for a new type of local restaurant. One that looked at the culture of the growing Vietnamese population without abandoning the Sino-American tradition. Thanks to Lido, Golden Phoenix, Grand House, Dot Wo and later Fung’s Kitchen, Asian cuisine is a signature of Oklahoma City. The restaurants that followed them and we the humble consumers owe a debt of gratitude to these longtime restaurants for making Oklahoma City a more delicious and exciting place to live and dine.
And now Lido is back to accept your loyalty and reward her with a sizzling clay pot of simmered pork or something more adventurous like Ginger and Scallion Cuttlefish. You can view the full menu online at lidorestaurantokc.com.
The Nguyen Family will open in the same building at 2518 Military Drive from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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