Columbia County soon will offer two spicier additions to its dining menu.
Within the next month, two family-run Thai restaurants will open in Evans.
Don Sowsawat, of Martinez, plans to open Thai Kitchen in a few weeks next to the Kroger in Evans. He and his wife, Maliwan are from Thailand. He came to the United States 23 years ago, but she immigrated recently.
The cuisine will be authentic.
"Compared to Chinese, we have more flavors," Sowsawat said. "We use some lime, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce and many more spices."
The new Mai Thai restaurant will be a family owned and operated restaurant in Evans Towne Center. The restaurant will be operated by Wattanee Vacharakirin (from left), Achana Jarintranont, owner, Sunaree Tanmanatragul, Kachen Vacharakirin and Thanawat Vacharakirin.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Sowsawat is opening the restaurant for his wife, whom he met while she was working at a restaurant in Columbia, S.C. - a job she still commutes to every day.
"She picked the location. She thinks it is busy enough to support it," he said.
The owners of Mai Thai also are from Thailand and will serve authentic Thai cuisine. But that doesn't mean everything will be spicy, said Sunaree Tanmanatragul.
"Not all dishes are spicy," said Tanmanatragul, whose mother, Achana Jarintranont, owns the restaurant. "It can be according to your taste. For the more adventurous people, we can make things spicy. If you want to try something a little milder, we can do that, too."
The location - next to the Publix in the Evans Towne Centre shopping center - is under construction, but Jarintranont hopes for a mid- to late-July opening.
Jarintranont is the former owner of Bon Thai on Gordon Highway, which was closed about 10 years ago because of the location, Tanmanatragul said. She has been looking forward to opening another restaurant since then, and had been actively looking for a suitable location for a year.
The Evans location soon will be adorned with scenic pictures of Thailand and mango and banana trees, and all customers will be greeted by two statues with praying hands - a traditional Thai greeting, Tanmanatragul said.
The restaurant will be family-run by Jarintranont and her daughter, sister, brother-in-law and nephew.
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