With sister restaurants in Boston, Bangkok Pepper owner Panja Lymswan marvels at how "everyone knows everyone" in his new location in Danvers.
Panja Lymswan is getting a crash course in small-town living, and loving it. Lymswan, who currently lives in Boston, is opening the new Thai food restaurant Bangkok Pepper at the former location of Kentucky Fried Chicken at 6 Purchase Street in Danvers, and has received a warm reception from locals looking forward to the official opening, which is slated to be next week.
Lymswan immigrated to the states from his native Bangkok, Thailand over 35 years ago, and has never experienced life in a small town before now. He's excited about the north shore location that he discovered through his friendship with local Keller Williams realtor, Brian Dapice, and said he is astounded at the difference between city life and life in the suburbs.
“Everyone seems to know everybody else, here,” he said. “It seems like such a nice, small town, and I see a lot of people living here for a long time. I don’t see that so much in the city, so this is different for me.”
Lymswan noted that his new neighbors have welcomed him graciously to the small town atmosphere. "My new landlord actually knows my language a little, and the Danvers firefighters greeted me in Thai, too,” he said
Lymswan first settled in Michigan before joining the army, where he served for seven years. Upon separation, Lymswan and his family opened their first restaurant in Boston called Bangkok Bistro. “That was on Beacon Street,” Lymswan recalled. “My next restaurant Montien was opened on Stuart Street in the city, and it's been very popular.” The critically acclaimed Montien is well known for it's authentic Thai cuisine, won Boston's Best in 2002/2009 and was featured on the Phantom Gourmet.
His family's next endeavor was Spice Thai Cuisine. Located in Harvard Square, he said it has a more casual feel than it’s predecessors. “Spice is very popular because of the menu-it’s more affordable than Montien, which is right in the theater district, but still has the same high quality food.”
For this reason Lymswan has decided to adopt the Spice menu for his latest venture, which he will run separately from his other family-owned operations in the city because “they didn’t want to drive all the way out here!” he laughed.
When asked what makes his restaurant’s menu stand out, he quickly points out the lunch-box option for busy customers on their timed lunchbreaks. “There is a lot of variety in the lunch box, people will be very surprised at how many options there are-and it’s easy for them to get, they can call ahead, and just come in for pick-up, order online, we will even deliver it right to them,” he said.
The warm decor models the feel of Montien, with double windows that will open up fully to the outdoors. Plus, there will be outdoor patio seating, which was a primary factor in choosing this location.
Offering such staples as red and yellow curry dishes, beef and chicken satay and pad thai noodles, all at affordable prices, Lymswan points out that he will offer a free soup with every order, a different kind of soup made fresh daily. Customers will also have the option to place orders online, and upon delivery receive special coupons for discounts and free delivery on future orders.
Although initially there will be no alcohol served, Lymswan will also be applying for a liquor license from the town in the coming months. Right now he is just excited to get the doors opened and begin establishing relationships with the locals, many of whom have already been by to welcome him to the neighborhood.