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.
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.