Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita’s west side snags an east-side Thai restaurant

Bann Thai has left the east side and will reopen near 13th and West streets in early March.
Bann Thai has left the east side and will reopen near 13th and West streets in early March. The Wichita Eagle

The east side’s Thai loss is about to become the west side’s Thai gain.

Bann Thai, the Thai restaurant that opened at 6249 E. 21st St. in 2012, closed there about three weeks ago. By late March, owner Wanwaree Jackson plans to reopen it at 3833 W. 13th St., in the spot next to Knolla’s that Eastern Cusine vacated in December.

Jackson said she just hadn’t been getting enough business on the east side, and her lease was up. She decided the small space on 13th Street was worth a try, she said.

She’s preparing for inspections and hopes to have the doors open by late March. In April or May, she plans a grand opening, where she’ll reveal her new Thai-style seating, which features big triangular pillows situated on the back of a big stool. Diners can comfortably lean back while enjoying their meals, Jackson said, the way her father did growing up in Chiang Mai. Jackson said she wants to honor her father and also offer Wichita diners a new experience. (While traditional Thai seating is on the floor level, it’s also often offered on elevated stools, Jackson said, and that’s what she’s opted for.)

Bann Thai serves traditional Thai dishes like pad Thai, Panang curry and fried rice. On the east side, the restaurant was known for its extra spicy food. Even dishes ordered mild came out pretty hot.

Jackson said she’ll be making the default temperature on her dishes about a teaspoon less hot, but people who want it hotter still can get it that way, she said.

Stay tuned for updates.

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