The owners of Opart Thai House didn't want much fanfare last week when they quietly began serving customers at their new Chicago Avenue location. They're weary of hungry customers slamming the dining room early while they train staff so they're focusing on carry out and delivery until an official opening next month at 1371 W. Chicago Ave. The 2014 Michelin Bib Gourmand winner is even already listed on GrubHub.
Ownership feels fortunate to bring guarded family recipes from Thailand to Chicago, and they take that cultural responsibility seriously. It's the same menu as the other two locations (check it out below) and eventually they'll offer rotating specials unique to this one. These specials will offer customers a taste of Thailand's diversity, including flavors associated with Burmese and Indian cuisine, co-owner Mary Punmit said.
Inside, guests will barely recognize the former Bow & Stern Oyster Bar, which closed on New Year's Eve 2014. They've removed the back bar and have redone the tiles and walls. There's room for 170. This isn't a BYO Thai spot, as ownership is planning a beverage program with Southeast Asian flavors for Bow & Stern's old bar. There's also a private room with a modest-sized flat screen TV.
Ownership doesn't want to fully open the dining room until its currently limited staff, which came over from the South Loop and Lincoln Square locations, receive proper training. They remain apprehensive in even calling this a soft opening and there's no hours posted yet either. Check back later for updates, and look over the menu below.