Rising Star Restaurateur Gracie Nguyen of You Are Here Hospitality - Biography

Nashville, TN

May 2022

After years of cooking Vietnamese food with her family, Gracie Nguyen left her Houston home to go to culinary school in San Francisco. She found a job as a grill cook at Postrio, where she first met her future husband and business partner, Chad Newton. But after 2001, Newton and Nguyen went their separate ways: Nguyen followed the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group to Las Vegas before returning to Vietnamese cuisine at The Slanted Door and Out the Door, where she found a mentor in James Beard Award-winning Chef Charles Phan.

Newton and Nguyen reconnected in 2008 and were married in 2011. That same year, they co-founded the health-focused fast casual concept, Asian Box, throughout California, operating the company until 2020. Craving a slower pace of life, the couple put down roots in Nashville, and after weeks of pop-ups, they opened their Vietnamese quick-service restaurant, East Side Banh Mi. This April, they opened East Side Pho (ESP) at community-driven micro-restaurant lot, The Wash, and they’re following it up later this year with their own incubation program under their restaurant group name, You Are Here Hospitality Partners. With Nguyen running kitchen operations and Newton managing business development, the duo is growing a restaurant group that advocates for young chefs, positive work culture, and the Nashville community as a whole.