Central Smoke Says a Quick Farewell to the Central District

On Friday, the Central District said goodbye to a whole lot of smoke.

By Zoe Sayler January 13, 2020

Parting is such...smoky sorrow.

Get your sad reacts ready: As fans learned Friday via Central Smoke’s Facebook page, the Central District smokehouse has closed.

If you’ve ever half-seriously uttered the words “new year, new me,” the reason Central Smoke’s owners gave for the restaurant’s sudden closure might resonate: “With 2020 and a new decade upon us," owners Eric Banh, Sophie Banh, and Teresa Nguyen "have decided that it makes the best business sense to focus all of our energy and resources” on their other restaurants, Ba Bar and Monsoon.

We’re glad the trio will continue to give their three Ba Bar locations and two Monsoon spots the attention they deserve—both restaurants made our 100 Best Restaurants list

But Central Smoke, a retooling of chef Eric Banh's Vietnamese steakhouse Seven Beef, was one-of-a-kind, a purveyor of smoky...well, everything, from the cocktails (like the “Smoked AF OF,” an old-fashioned served in a smoked glass) to the smoked hot wings with fish sauce caramel.

What’s really a shame is that we won’t get to wish Central Smoke’s great patio one last goodbye when warmer weather rolls around. But when the owners say they’re “confident that our beloved space will not remain dark for long,” they’re not blowing smoke.

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