In HearSway

The updated picture for the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Bennett Street in Southern Pines is finally coming together — as Banh Sen Noodle Bar.

It’s another venture by James and Keena Lam, the owners of The Block, who are looking forward to having a second restaurant within walking distance. The couple had their eye on the former home of El Vaquero for some time, but didn’t consider it seriously until building owners Tom and Lora Gisler began extensive renovations. The lease was finalized on Friday.

“Tom happened to be here, we stopped by, and that’s the end of the story,” Keena laughed. 

The Lams in the new space

“We had lots of great applicants but we wanted something different, something that would work well with what’s across the street,” Tom added, referring to Southern Pines Brewing Company on Pennsylvania.

The Lams’ ideas include landscaping with kitchen herbs, lanterns hanging from the ceiling’s exposed beams, a sunken lounge / bar area and outdoor seating, all with a red and black color scheme. The menu will have popular Southeast Asian noodle dishes, bar food, beer and wine and specialty cocktails — “fun, happy drinks,” James says. 

Some menu options including meatballs, sticky rice with dipping sauce and khao piak. 

The space is still under construction, but the couple says things are moving fast. They hope to open Banh Sen Noodle Bar by next month. 

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