280-area Vietnamese restaurant to operate under new name
Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY – Inverness resident Jeff Campbell fell in love with Vietnamese food when he was working next door to a restaurant called Pho 280 nearly four years ago.
Campbell didn’t know then he would one day own the restaurant.
“It was a very small operation,” Campbell said of the eatery, named after a Vietnamese soup made with rice noodles and broth. “I would go there on my break. I ate there two to three times a week.”
Campbell was working at a place called Grey Bar. When another man bought Pho 280 and asked Campbell to partner with him and serve as its general manager, Campbell agreed to the challenge, viewing it as an opportunity to see where he was in his career.
“I thought if I could make that popular, I could do anything, and it took off,” Campbell said. “It was packed every single night.”
Campbell eventually moved on and accepted a position with Brook Highland Bar and Grill, which opened in January 2020.
Two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, changing the landscape of the restaurant industry.
After months of hard work and only a handful of days off, Campbell arrived at another crossroads—and another chance to work at Pho 280.
The new owner had asked Campbell for his help with revamping and running the restaurant.
“I came back and helped her, and we built a good (customer) base back up again,” he said.
When she told Campbell she was moving away, he decided to buy the restaurant and continue the work he had started.
That work—mostly to refresh the business and draw in more customers—has involved rebranding under a new name: White on Rice Pho and Noodle House.
Campbell said the name is a light-hearted nod to his background.
“I was adopted at a very young age,” he said. “While I am Asian, I was raised very southern. Lifted truck, country music, football – these things are a big part of my life. The name really just describes me, and it was catchy.”
He also wanted to find something a bit more explanatory for people who aren’t familiar with pho.
“If you see ‘Pho 280’ and you don’t know what it is, you’re not stopping,” he said.
Campbell said the restaurant is still operating as Pho 280 until the new signage arrives and the transition is complete.
At White on Rice Pho and Noodle House, Campbell is excited to offer patrons a cozy place to sit down, enjoy authentic Vietnamese fare and perhaps unwind with a cocktail.
The restaurant is located at 5479 U.S. 280, near First Watch in the Arbor Place shopping center, across from Lee Branch.
In addition to indoor and outdoor dining, White on Rice Pho and Noodle House also does carryout orders and special event catering.