One Thong Chai Thai Cuisine, 12 Post Office Avenue, is planning to open early March, according to Owner Apple Tomamichel.
The new Thai restaurant will be located in the space, formerly occupied by My Brother’s Pizza, which closed this past August.
Tomamichel, who moved from Thailand in 2000, currently lives in Methuen with her husband and two children, 6 and 8. She owns a Thai restaurant with the same name in Fitchburg. Although she has only been opened there for 9 months, she explained she had been looking to open a restaurant in Andover for a while.
“My husband works at Raytheon, and I know a lot of people in town,” she explained. She added she wants to eventually move her family to Andover. But said that she will still retain ownership of the restaurant in Fitchburg.
When My Brothers Pizza closed, Tomamichel said she contacted State Senator Barry Finegold, who owns the property along with dentist David Samuels, and real estate agent Scott Jamieson.
Finegold said, “We are excited to have her here, and we think she will be a great addition to the town.” He said that the bistro will also have some outdoor seating in the nice weather.
Tomamichel, who always wanted to go into the restaurant business, said she worked 8 years in Thai restaurants in Boston, and she has had a successful home based online marketing and sales company. This combination of experience gave her the confidence to make her dream a reality.
Learning to cook from her grandmother, she includes recipes handed down in her menu. She said she serves healthy homemade food, with a lot of vegetables. “We use fresh herbs, and my customers are impressed with that,” she explained.
While the menu in Andover will be similar to the Fitchburg location, the restaurant will be smaller. “We will only be able to seat 22 customers in comparison to 100 in Fitchburg,” she said.
The bistro will offer take out, delivery and catering services. “We already have contact with Phillips Academy about an upcoming International students event," she said.
Tomamichel explained the most popular items on the menu are Himmapan chicken; stir-fried chicken with pineapple, onions, mushrooms, scallions, bell peppers, carrots and cashew nuts in a pik sauce
Another is the Larb Gai; minced chicken with red onions, scallions, mint leaves and ground toasted rice in spicy tangy homemade lime sauce served with fresh vegetables.
Customers are surprised by her lamb dishes, and any curry dish, especially with mango is popular, she explained.
Looking forward to the bistro’s opening, Tomamichel said she hopes Senator Finegold will be on hand to cut the ribbon.
The hours will be Monday-Thursday, 11:30am-9pm, Friday, Saturday, 11:30am -10pm and Sunday, noon-9 pm.