Fans of Thai food will likely recognize the owners of the new restaurant Kitchen of Thai Curries.
Ann Pattarachote was a waitress at the now-closed Chan’s Thai Kitchen for 20 years, and her brother, Pat Pattarachote, was a cook there for 21 years.
“I said, ‘No more job for us, what are we going to do?’” said Ann Pattarachote of her reaction to the closing.
She made it clear they did not begrudge owners Curtis and Chantana Hopson for closing the old restaurant.
“Chan is my aunt,” Ann Pattarachote said. “They worked hard. They deserve a break, but we still needed to do something.”
What they’re doing is serving up soups and curries to go at their own restaurant, which opened about a week ago at 224 Seward St.
“We wanted to try it out,” Ann Pattarachote said. “We hope we can stay a long time.”
Plus, cooking is something Pat Pattarachote has loved to do and been doing since age 11.
“The thing I’m best at is cooking,” he said.
Being in charge of a kitchen for the first time is both exciting and a lot of work, the Pattarachotes said.
Kitchen of Thai Curries’ menu does not include Pad Thai or spring rolls because their kitchen is not yet equipped for it, and instead the focus on soups and the namesake curries.
Most of the dishes come from recipes courtesy of the Pattarachote’s mom, who lives in Hawaii. Pat Pattarachote said he added some extra twists based on watching the seasoning street cooks add to their wares.
He said his favorite dish to prepare and eat is probably khao soi gai, which is a curry sauce served with chicken over pasta noodle or rice noodle and topped with fried noodles, green onion, a slice of lime and comes with some side slaw.
Fried noodles provide a crunch that stands out among tender chicken and creamy curry.
Khao soi gai is more savory than spicy, and would be a good choice for folks who prefer more mild dishes.
Pat Pattarachote said it and other curries are popular street food in some cities, but aren’t yet particularly common in Juneau.
“It’s new dishes for the people to try in Juneau,” he said.
The restaurant, which is open 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, has 11 seats, but take-out is expected to make up the bulk of their business.
Both owners said they’re optimistically looking forward to the busy summer tourist months.
“People have said we’re going to be busy,” Ann Pattarachote said. “I hope so.”
The Pattarachotes said they also hope loyal customers from Chan’s will follow them to their new restaurant.
So far, customers who used to like Chan’s seem happy with the new restaurant, the Pattarachotes said.
“They want to eat my cooking again,” Pat Pattarachote said.
Know & Go
What: Kitchen of Thai Curries
Where: 224 Seward St.
When: 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday.