Community, Features, Local

Nud Pob reopens after construction, students celebrate

Festive balloons and a “NOW OPEN” banner decorate the entrance of Nud Pob. Students pack this campus hot spot, as scents of Thai spices and chatter fill the room. On Boston University’s campus, across the street from Marsh Chapel, sits this casual Thai eatery.

After much anticipation, Nud Pob re-opened its doors to eager customers after three-month-long construction repairs. Nud Pob’s next-door neighbor, Pavement Coffeehouse, is expected to re-opened in early- to mid-January, according to Pavement’s CEO, Andy LoPilato.

Eddie Chen, Nud Pob owner, said the business faced difficulties after its closure during the fall semester.

Patrons crowd Nud Pob on Monday night. The popular Thai restaurant reopened its doors on Friday after months of construction. MOLLY POTTER/ DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

“I mean, the entire freshman-year students probably don’t know about this,” Chen said. “So it’s going to take some time for me to pick up.”

Pavement and Nud Pob closed for water leakage and cracks in the concrete from heavy rains over the summer. The construction project began in August and the timeline was stretched due to the building’s structural issues.

BU spokesperson Colin Riley said the construction project was “unusual” because of the parking garage and deck above the businesses.

“[BU] wanted to make sure that it was safe and minimize the impact to the time frame on their business,” Riley said. “So this was done as quickly as possible.”

Unlike Nud Pob, Pavement’s construction is still ongoing.

The roof is being reinforced by support columns to ensure structural integrity. An updated store facade needs to be completed as well, said LoPilato.

“We are a local independent, family-owned business, and losing one of our locations has been a real challenge,” LoPilato said.

Jennifer Liu, a junior in the College of Communication, said that the atmosphere of a cafe study space is convenient during midterms and finals season.

“I’ve only really heard about Pavement after it was closed, but I heard a lot of good things from a lot of classmates and my friends,” Liu said. “I’m definitely interested in looking at the menu and actually going into the store and trying some things.”

Caden Honda, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said they have noticed how “expensive” and “crowded” Pavement can get.

“If somebody asked me to go and they were feeling impassioned about it, I would go with, but I don’t think on my own volition,” she said.

Chen said the closure impacted his business because in September business picks up when students return to campus, after the “low season” of summer.

“They shut us down in the month of August, so there’s no income,” Chen said.

Throughout the construction, Chen was responsible for paying the restaurant’s electric and gas bills. BU covered the cost of rent and construction.

Riley said the University worked to “get them back in business.”

“We wish them well and appreciate their understanding, of course, as this project went on in close cooperation with the University,” Riley said.

During the closure, Chen kept his workers, like Wanna W., on the payroll with vacation pay.

Wanna W., who has been working at Nud Pob for 11 years, has a second job on top of her full-time cashier role at Nud Pob. In the months Nud Pob was closed, Wanna was working at her second job to earn extra income.

She described the Nud Pob work environment as like a family.

“We have fun each day at work, and you can see how busy we are, so we cannot have drama,” Wanna said. “So we just like doing our job.”

Nud Pob gave out complimentary iced teas with any purchase in honor of their reopening day. Around dinner time, the restaurant was packed with full tables and many customers in line to order food. The interior appears more spacious and newly renovated.

Nud Pob cashier Arisa T. expressed there was anticipation surrounding the restaurant’s re-opening and that business was going to pick up.

Aman Shahzad, a junior COM, said they enjoyed the service and the food, which they described as part of the appeal of supporting small businesses.

“I feel like there’s a completely different vibe, it feels more at home,” Shazad said.

Jason Jiang, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said that Nud Pob “has a loyal customer base,” and that he’d definitely consider himself as part of it.

“[Nud Pob is] in a central location on campus. We’d be open to coming … maybe like every other week, but regularly coming back is definitely the plan,” Jiang said.

Before the restaurant was closed for construction, Jiang used to eat there once a week with his friend Benson Cao, and would order his typical dish, the Indonesian fried rice.

Sitting next to Jiang was Cao, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, who said that the prices were pretty fair for a home-cooked meal in Boston.

“It proves a lot about how good of a business they’re running and how good the food is,” Jiang said. “People are coming back, even after such a long period of waiting.”

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