Copper Pig Has Closed



Copper Pig, a Southampton gathering place, has closed. - MABEL SUEN
  • Copper Pig, a Southampton gathering place, has closed.

Copper Pig (4611 Macklind Avenue; 314-499-7166), a beloved Southampton gathering place, has served its last guests. The restaurant, which opened six years ago, announced the closure on Facebook Monday evening after service, citing simply "Thank you. Copper Pig served its last drink and meal tonight."

Opened by veteran bartender Nhat Nguyen in 2015, Copper Pig was known for its fusion of Asian and Latin dishes and American-style comfort food, a unique marriage based on Nguyen's experiences growing up as a first-generation American with immigrant parents. Drawing upon the food that he ate as a kid in a Southeast Asian household in the Midwest, as well as the Latin American food he fell in love with while living in Miami, Copper Pig gained fans for its eclectic dishes, good cocktails and warm atmosphere.

Though he is happy with what he created and the restaurant continued to be profitable, Nguyen simply felt that it was time to step away.

"It's kind of been swirling in my mind for a while," Nguyen says. "I'm not dead and I wasn't forced out. I'm just tired of something. Like any relationship, sometimes you just grow tired and want something new. Call it an amicable divorce. I have no ill will toward anyone, even the detractors. Sometimes, you just want to walk away with a good taste in your mouth rather than a bad one."

As Nguyen explains, his decision to close Copper Pig is based on his desire to leave the hospitality industry indefinitely rather than any issues with the restaurant. Having worked in the business for many years, he explains he grew tired of the long hours and six-seven day work weeks — something he readily accepted as part of the gig but now feels a need to step back from.

"I definitely will not resurface in the hospitality industry for a while," Nguyen says. "I don't hate it. It's served me well, but I just want to get away from it for a while."

Nguyen notes he is fortunate to own the building where Copper Pig was located, and he is open to having a tenant take over the space, even as he states he is in no rush to find one. If that prospective person wanted to reopen as Copper Pig, he would entertain the idea, though he thinks a new and unique concept would better serve everyone involved.

"I don't see why they would want to keep the name Copper Pig, because I think that would ruin their thing," Nguyen says. "The identity of Copper Pig is what I did, so I'd think they would want to do their own thing."

As for the loyal guests he's gained over the years and the Southampton neighborhood that has supported him, Nguyen is thankful and sees the area as a prime spot for a prospective business owner.

"Six years isn't forever, but it's a decent enough time, especially in that neighborhood," Nguyen says. "The local residents there really supported me. I didn't know that the food would go over when I turned on the lights six years ago; I didn't tell anyone I was open; I just turned on the lights and they came out. That's just how the neighborhood is."

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