Restaurateur plans to open Thai eatery in Minnesota's old Bemidji Brewing Co. location
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Thamrong "Keng" Dechawuth, owner of the Drunken Noodle and Wasabi restaurants in Fargo, is moving to Bemidji and bringing a new restaurant idea to town.
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Thamrong “Keng” Dechawuth, owner of the Drunken Noodle and Wasabi restaurants in Fargo, is moving to Bemidji and bringing a new restaurant idea to town.
Dechawuth’s new Thai restaurant, Tara, is scheduled to open in late August. “I have opened many restaurants,” he said. “But I came to Bemidji because when I turned 40, I tried to find a place where I could balance my life.”
While Dechawuth is moving to Bemidji, he will still retain his ownership of his Fargo restaurants and commute when he needs to, he said. The friendly community and available activities are what he said drew him to Bemidji.
“I came last year at Winterfest and I found a good community and lots of activities to do, so I’m trying to balance my life with working and enjoying activities here.”
Bemidji Brewing Co. also perked Dechawuth’s interest in the area.
“The other reason I came here was because of Bemidji Brewing, I came here and was talking to them and said ‘Oh this is pretty good beer,’ and I want to pair the Thai food with these beers,” Dechawuth said.
Bemidji Brewing Co. made such an impression on Dechawuth that his restaurant will be in their old building downtown at the corner of Fourth Street Northwest and Beltrami Avenue.
The menu of the restaurant will be centered around the beer Tara serves.
“The main idea is that we want to make a food complementary to the beers, but family is welcome here. It’s food for everybody. I think Thai food is going a lot better with beer than wine. I will have a lot of local brews but we will have some Asian brews and others from Minnesota.”
Tara’s menu will also feature as many local ingredients as possible, he said.
“We are going to make a small plate that is complementary to the beers we have,” Dechawuth said.“ We’ll have just some regular Thai food on the menu, too, but it will be a smaller menu and we will keep changing it, because we are going to try to use all local ingredients here so the menu will probably change seasonally.”
Hours for the new restaurant have not yet been finalized, but Dechawuth hopes to be open on Sundays.
“I think we are going to try to do Tuesday-Sunday. I would like to open on Sunday because it’s hard to find things to eat downtown on Sundays.”
The charm of Bemidji drew Dechawuth to open a restaurant here and he hopes the community will feel the same way about his restaurant.
“I’m pretty new here, but it’s kind of interesting because it’s not a very small town but it’s not a very big town; I’ve met a lot of people who are so excited about the food, but we will see what happens when we open.”