Pho Keene Great, a new restaurant in the New Hampshire town of Keene, is a hot topic in town, but not because of its soup or noodles. The restaurant’s eye-catching, punny name (meant to sound like the profane phrase “f**king great”) was deemed offensive by the city.
The city’s manager mandated that the restaurant take down its sign, claiming that concerned citizens had complained of its vulgarity and that such a flagrantly offensive phrase was in violation of the building lease, which apparently requires permission for any sort of signage on the premises.
Despite not opening, Pho Keene Great, has gone viral because of the struggle. What started as a small, local story on New Hampshire Public Radio, gained traction across the Internet.
In a January 6th, a Facebook post on their official page (a page that has accrued over 3,000 Likes), Pho Keane Great, accused city councilman Randy Filiault of spreading a false narrative and refuted accusations that they had intentionally gone to the media to smear the city.
In their words:
Keene City councilor, Randy Filiault, is creating and spreading a false narrative. In his statement, please see attached screenshot, he indicates that our lease agreement was conditional and “one of the conditions was that a different name would be used.” Mr. Filiault, you seem to know more than we do. Please enlighten us and discuss verifiable facts. When were we informed of that condition and when did we agree to it? Was it before the contract was signed which had our business name on it or after? We maintain that this conversation NEVER took place; otherwise, we would not have spent thousands of dollars marketing under our business name.
Pho Keene Great Bar & Restaurant is a business and we have no political affiliations and we welcome everyone. We want…
It’s worth mentioning that “Pho King” is a relatively popular pun across the United States, though Pho Keene would certainly be the first one to actually incorporate the name of the city.
Update 1/22/19: They won!