Strangely though, the issue isn't with the name itself, but with posting a profane sign. But since the owner needs a sign to, you know, announce that the restaurant exists, it amounts to the same thing.
Dragon explained to The Sentinal that this lease is particularly restrictive because "it’s a publicly owned building, and we do have to be concerned about anything that could be interpreted by the public as offensive or use of profanity."
"We really do want them to be successful," Dragon added. "I’m personally looking forward to frequenting her restaurant, but I do want to have a conversation with her about the sign and make sure that we are all comfortable moving forward."
Jolie told The Sentinel that she took down the sign “as a good faith gesture, because we wanted to work with the city on this issue.” But that doesn't mean she's not pushing back. "If the city denies us a permit now due to our business name, which they have known since lease signing, that is a major issue since we have spent a lot of money," she wrote.
She's countered that the name it is "wordplay on Vietnamese vernacular" and "intended to be fun and lighthearted." She added that this is also a First Amendment issue and that it's “discriminatory to say that a Vietnamese word, a popular food item combined with the name of our city is considered offensive.”
Dragon and Jolie are scheduled to meet on January 11 to discuss further, but Jolie is trying to postpone till February to get further legal advice.
In a press statement, Jolie explained that "we do not have any plans on changing our business name. We have spent many thousands of dollars investing in this venture because we believed in every aspect of our concept and that includes the branding and marketing of our business name. We have a tentative opening date of, March 1, 2019, and would like the blessings of Keene City government to have an exterior sign with our business name on it."