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Goosebeary...s Out of Commission

By Rosa Cao
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Patrons of the food trucks behind Building 68 may have noticed that the popular Goosebeary’s has been missing in action for the past two weeks, as has fellow truck Indochine, usually parked in front of Technology Square on Main Street.

In the absence of Goosebeary’s usual long but fast-moving line, the remaining three trucks in the area appeared to be doing a slightly brisker business than usual on Monday.

A fire on the morning of Jan. 21 put the kitchen of the East Cambridge restaurant Indochine (formerly named Poppa & Goose) out of commission, and with it the operating base of the two trucks.

“Goosebeary’s truck was an innocent bystander,” said restaurant manager Tony Vo. “It’s really a separate business — they just use this as a base to cook.” Employees of the two trucks work together to prepare the food, which is offered on both menus.

Goosebeary’s was able to make a brief reappearance at the end of last week by preparing food at a temporary location, which may become their permanent new base. “They’re renovating it, and if it suits their purpose, they’ll be back a lot sooner,” Vo said. “Check tomorrow. They’ll be back this week.”

The fire was restricted to the kitchen area of the restaurant and caused limited damage, said Vo, who estimates the repairs will cost $60,000 and take about three weeks once a permit has been obtained.

The restaurant was boarded up after the fire, and its gas and electricity shut off. Since then, Vo has been there every day “moving along the process of repairing our place.”

According to the Cambridge Fire Department report, employee James Fung had been operating a “Frialator” deep fryer when the oil overheated and combusted. He was treated for facial burns at the hospital.

Vo’s aunt Hien Nguyen is the owner of the truck, and has been working there for 18 years. “She’s never been gone for more than two days, and it’s always a point of pride for her to keep up service, even on rainy days when it may not seem worth it,” Vo said. “She’s the little old lady in the back.”

Nguyen checked into the hospital with heart pains on Monday. Vo said he didn’t believe that was related to what happened: “It’s tough on her, but she was in okay spirits.”

Goosebeary’s and its namesake Poppa & Goose on First Street were founded by two MIT alumni, Chon Vo-Dinh and Tran Thuan ’85 and a Tufts student Cathy Vu, according to a Boston Globe article. The restaurant was renamed Indochine when new owners joined the business, but Vo said his family was still very much involved.