Goodbye to Greensboro’s beloved Boba House | Food & Drink

When Boba House, the vegetarian and vegan restaurant on UNCG’s college strip at 332 Tate St., closes at 9 p.m. this Saturday, it’s for good.

Kieuanh Ho and Kiet Nguyen, who opened it in August 2023 and sold the first boba tea on any menu in the state, want their community to know their departure isn’t for business reasons or anything bad or sad.

“We’ve had a really good run,” said Kieuanh, who is the mother of four boys. “We’re trying to focus on our family and just practice living, and be more mindful of our timeline here on earth. I have a limited resource of time with my sons, who are growing way too fast.”

Her youngest is 7, and her oldest, 16. “I don’t want to look back years from now and regret not dedicating my time to them and enjoying their presence while they’re still with me.”

She also stressed that they’re not closing because they have to.

“People may be asking why, if we’re doing so well, we’re quitting now. But the community has always been so good to us and our staff.”

She has nothing but praise for Becky Paterson, Boba House’s Tate Street neighbor as well as landlord, who owns Sisters, the shop next door. “Over the past 20 years, she’s only raised rent three times.”

That’s rare on Tate Street, where some business owners complain of rent increases every six months.

“She’s the best landlord a tenant could ever ask for. Anytime we’ve had an issue, she’s there to help. When our walk-in cooler went out, she replaced it with a brand-new one at her expense. When I first started thinking about this last year, she let me have a month-to-month lease and told me to take my time deciding. I know I’ll never again find anyone else like Becky and Carlos [Wong, Paterson’s husband], not on this or any street.”

A vegetarian since she was 13, Kieuanh began talking about opening a restaurant while she and Kiet were still dating. “He was originally from the Houston area and boba tea was popular there, but no place in North Carolina sold it, and vegetarian and vegan items were rare here.”

The couple originally looked at a space on the other side of their neighbor Tate Street Coffee. “There was a vacancy, but the Tate Street Coffee landlord turned us down. Then we talked to Becky and her sister Emily, who was also running Sisters at the time.”

Kieuanh and Kiet met with the sisters who owned Sisters about what had formerly been Hong Kong House. “They were so receptive to us and gave us a chance, and we’ve been here ever since, serving vegetarian food and boba tea when UNCG students could not get it anywhere else.”

Kiet’s family is from New Orleans, but Kieuanh’s family has lived in Greensboro since arriving as refugees in the 1990s. “My sister is Amerasian, which is how we got to come to America. Lutheran Family Services was the resettlement agency, and they just happened to pick our file and then we were here.”

She and Kiet met in Greensboro, as he had a family connection here before relocating from Houston. They have no intention of moving away.

“This is home and we love it. It’s not so big we have traffic issues, not so small we can’t find what we need, and midway between the beach and mountains.”

Her favorite memory will always be working alongside the late Jennifer Gregory, who helped her open Boba House, and who passed away in 2020. “She’s a wonderful family friend who supported us until her last day. A lot of people knew Jennifer from when she founded Pho Hien Vuong, before she sold it back to the current owner’s mom.”

Kieuanh expects Boba House’s last day to be a big one.

“Come see us this Saturday, if not before then. If the weather’s good, we’ll have something going on outside, and rather than selling off our décor, we’re giving a lot of it away. Of course, staff got first pick, but our patrons have already put their names and numbers on stickers on stuff. Somebody has even done that with the benches Kiet made for outside, but we may keep those.”

Come and have a creamy avocado boba tea, a recipe Kieuanh perfected, and which is made with fresh avocado. Or any of the other flavors and menu items listed at

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