Vietnamese American restaurant Money Cat is back in business: Bushwick Daily

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A new – and not-so-new – Vietnamese American diner stands in the warm glow of neon lights at the corner of Eldert Street and Wilson Avenue. Managed by married couple Chris Taha and Jenny Baker, Money Cat offers an assortment of classic Vietnamese fare, including steaming bowls of pho and banh mi sandwiches.

Al fresco dining at Money Cat.

The restaurant was only open for a month when the pandemic closed it for over a year, but since reopening it has been attracting more and more traffic despite being primarily advertised by word of mouth. hear.

Money Cat is inspired by Taha and Baker’s experiences with Vietnamese cuisine on the West Coast, where Taha says pho spots were as common as bodegas are in New York City. The couple have fond memories of late-night noodles and spaces where various groups of people gathered to share delicious food.

Taha and Baker actually met at Father Knows Best, the cafe and bar that Taha opened a few years ago, right next to Money Cat.

Chris Taha and Jenny Baker sit outside Money Cat, the couple's first restaurant together.
Chris Taha and Jenny Baker sit with their daughter in front of Money Cat, their first restaurant together.

When Taha created Father Knows Best, he envisioned a community space where neighbors could get together and share latte in the morning or beers after work. The couple’s warm greetings to customers suggest that Money Cat has a similar vision in mind.

Taha hopes Money Cat will be able to capture the sense of community he felt as a student meeting people of all ages and from all walks of life on nighttime pho runs. After all, he says, who doesn’t need a big bowl of noodles when they’re drunk?

And pho isn’t the only option on the menu. Money Cat offers a variety of classic Vietnamese American dishes, from banh mi Chinese sausages to vermicelli bowls, as well as sesame balls for dessert.

Money Cat Chinese Sausage Vermicelli Bowl.
Money Cat Chinese Sausage Vermicelli Bowl.

Money Cat is the couple’s first restaurant, and they hope to open many more. For now, they’re focused on expanding the weekend brunch and experimenting with the menu.

While still awaiting a liquor license, the restaurant has other tasty drinks on the menu, including their frozen Vietnamese coffee, which is canned on-site and decorated with Money Cat’s signature logo: a woman riding a cat.

Even as the news spread and the crowds grew, Baker and Taha kept the place running smoothly. In the restaurant business, especially since the pandemic, business is good, and based on its reception so far, Money Cat is sure to get even busier.


All images are courtesy of Chris Taha.

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