scorecardresearch

What’s in a name? In Keene, N.H., restaurant’s name stirs debate

Pho Keene Great is a Vietnamese restaurant that’s about to open in Keene, N.H.
Pho Keene Great is a Vietnamese restaurant that’s about to open in Keene, N.H.(Pho Keene Great)

Jan. 18 update: Officials approved the restaurant’s sign. For more, click here.

KEENE, N.H. — A New Hampshire restaurant that’s preparing to open has removed a sign advertising its name over concerns that it sounded like profanity.

The name of the Vietnamese restaurant in a public building next to City Hall in Keene is a play on a type of soup, which is spelled P-H-O, but is pronounced ‘‘fuh.’’ The restaurant calls itself by the name of the soup, followed by the words ‘‘Keene Great.’’

City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said it’s intended to sound like profanity and that owner Isabelle Jolie didn’t get permission to hang any sign.

Advertisement



Jolie said she doesn’t think the name is offensive.

The city wants Jolie to be successful, Dragon told New Hampshire Public Radio, but that it has to strike a balance.

Both sides plan to meet soon.