MUSICEYES & EDGE

VIVO

MUSICEYES & EDGE
VIVO
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Meet Thu Thi Nguyen and Marisa Monteverde. The two are business partners as well as best friends/partners-in-crime. Together they opened Vivo, a cozy hole-in-the-wall lunchtime spot. The pair share an interest in Southeast Asian cooking, specifically in comfort food, offering an array of noodle dishes and banh mihs. If you stop in for a meal or for a cup of coffee, you’ll be greeted by either Thu Thi or Marisa (or both if you’re lucky) for some witty banter.E+E: How did you and Marisa meet?Thu Thi Nguyen:: I was trying to open a restaurant in Winthrop, WA. Marisa was looking for a job and on the advice of her father, walked into the still unopened restaurant to ask for a job. Thu Thi took a chance on the young seventeen-year-old Marisa and she started as a prep cook. She excelled and continued to work there for four summers as a server and cook.E+E: How did you decide on your SE location?TTN: The previous owner had an empty storefront and was looking for a tenant.  David, my boyfriend, knew I'd always wanted my own cafe. It sealed the deal when I noticed that a painting in that space was of the town I used to live in. We opened three and a half years ago.E+E:  We know you guys are famous for your “therapy stools” which offer customers a chance to sit and chat. Have you had any interesting tales told to you?TTN: Our most interesting stories always come from our favorite dancers from across the street at Sassy's.E+E: What is your favorite Vivo dish? TTN: Vermicelli noodle bowl (Bun Thit Nuong), a classic Vietnamese dish.E+E: What are Vivo’s plans for the future?TTN: We are planning on expanding into doing dinner and happy hour within the next 6 months. We will be focusing on moving towards the cafe's new phase and are looking forward to that.E+E: What do you enjoy most about Portland?TTN: The culture around food, community and discovering new cool spots in all the different neighborhoods.Vivo932 SE Morrison StPhotos courtesy: Joseph Burgess