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Thai Orchid to reopen on Hanover Street in Lebanon, planning soft launch in May

When you’re a reporter and you walk by a sign that says, “What IS Happening Here?,” you’ve pretty much gotta ask. They cover that on the first day of Journalism 101.

I mention it, because that’s what happened to me on Hanover Street in Lebanon today. (You may have seen my super-sweet Facebook Live video just a few minutes beforehand.*)

Gotta say, putting that question to the person working out front was an odd experience. With the big red letters looming overhead, the only words I could get out of my mouth were, “What … is … happening here?” 😂

The answer: It’s going to be the new home of Thai Orchid, which was previously located in Hanover. The owners hope to have it open in May.

The future home of Thai Orchid on Hanover Street in Lebanon, N.H., on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

And, when I got back to the newsroom, turns out that business reporter John Lippman is already on the case. Here’s a sneak peek at Lippman’s dispatch coming up in the Sunday Valley News

Former Hanover restaurant Thai Orchid has found a new home — in Lebanon.


Owner-chef Pim Pinitmontri and her husband, Robert Lamprey, are reopening the Thai cuisine restaurant, which closed in Hanover last summer citing the town’s declining retail business and parking problems, at 70 Hanover Street in Lebanon in the location formerly occupied by Upper Valley Underground Crossfit.


Now renamed Pim’s Thai Orchid, Lambrey said the restaurant is targeting a “soft opening” in May and will feature many new menu ideas that Pinitmontri picked up during an extended winter trip back to her native Thailand where she studied with a leading Thai chef and toured Bangkok’s restaurants.


“We looked at a lot of places but this was the best location available,” Lamprey said, explaining the space in front of the building provides “ample parking” and the well-traveled corridor is strategically located near downtown Lebanon, the municipal parking lot and Exit 18 on Interstate 89.


Pim’s Thai Orchid will seat 48 compared to 80 at the former Hanover location. “That’s more manageable, we’ll need less help which will keep costs down and we’ll have take-out and delivery because the restaurant business is moving in that direction.”


Lampert described the new menu as “traditional Thai meets the New World,” and will feature infusions from Vietnamese, Chinese and Malaysian cuisine.


As it turns out, Pim’s Thai Orchid will be leasing space in a building owned by Sommay Vorachak, the former owner of Mai Thai Cuisine in Hanover, which Pinitmontri and Lamprey took over five years ago and renamed Thai Orchid.

RELATED: Canoe Club Sold; Thai Orchid Closes in Hanover

* p.s. Here’s the Facebook Live! Get those STICKERS! And if you know how to record those things in landscape mode, help me out. 😭

Where’s the Pulitzer for doughnut reporting, though

Because we’ve got more of that.

Doughnuts on prints, doughnuts on mugs, doughnuts on mouse pads, doughnuts on doughnuts

(Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com, or purchase a reprint by clicking on the image.

OK, that last one doesn’t work. But you can get the image above printed on all kinds of things by clicking the image or clicking here.



It’s ice cream Christmas, y’all

Vidar the Vizsla enjoys a puppy-sized serving of ice cream at Ice Cream Fore-U in West Lebanon, N.H., on April 10, 2017.(Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

I just made that term up, but it feels right, because the ice cream window at Fore-U is opening at 11 this morning*, and even though it’s feeling a little dreary out, I trust the Fore-U folks a lot more than Punxsutawney Phil to tell me when winter is finally over!

(*That’s according to an email sent out by Ice Cream Fore-U this morning! The window will be open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., according to the message.)

According to our records, today’s opening is one day earlier than last year, when Fore-U opened on March 31. So, there’s that.

Also, here’s a video I made last year, which holds up pretty well and which I should probably just re-publish every spring:

Due to the proximity of the newsroom, the Fore-U ice cream window is No. 1 on my radar. Do you know of any other Upper Valley ice cream windows that are opening already?

Let me know!