When co-owner Kerry Diamond e-mailed Carroll Gardens Patch last week and mentioned she was traveling through Vietnam with business partner/chef/boyfriend Rob Newton, the news appeared to be nothing more than a summer vacation to Southeast Asia.
But when an alert went up on EaterNY Wednesday evening that the dynamic Smith Street duo are planning a Vietnamese restaurant, it became clear that this particular vacation was also a reconnaissance expedition.
According to Eater, the pair intend to open a new Vietnamese restaurant in "a space right across the street from their second project, "—an all-around-fantastic coffee shop and .
A staffmember at Smith Canteen was unable to confirm the location of the new restaurant to Carroll Gardens Patch on Wednesday evening. But, as occupies the space directly across from Canteen on Smith Street, a vacant venue on the opposite side of Carroll Street seems to be the only possible destination.
Diamond told Eater that she and Newton love Vietnamese cuisine and construction has already begun at the new location, which will be the third venture from the team. It is due to open sometime next year.
Another reason for the expansion, Diamond told Carrol Gardens Patch, is to create a new opportunity for longtime employees.
"There are several people who have been with us since we opened Seersucker and Smith Canteen," said Diamond. "You want to retain the amazing people you're lucky to have on your team and have opportunities for them to grow. When you're small, you just can't do that. I think that's a realization a lot of small restaurateurs come to."
The couple also really believe in the neighborhood, she added. "Clearly, we're bullish on Carroll Gardens," said Diamond. "People keep asking us to expand to Manhattan. But, for the meantime, we're very happy here."
M + E/Michael Fusco Design, the Brooklyn graphic designer who did the Smith Canteen logo and identity, is working on the new spot. And Jane Kim, who designed Smith Canteen in conjunction with Newton, is designing the space.
No word yet what dishes will appear on the new restaurant's menu. But if the flavorful, haute Southern cuisine at Seersucker and expertly baked pastries at Smith Canteen are any indication of how seriously the couple will take this new project, you can bet it will be pho-nomenal.