A fast-casual Thai concept from the team behind Saigon Sisters is moving into the former home of Zenba Mexican Grill, which was first reported by the Tribune. Owners Mary Nguyen Aregoni and Theresa Nguyen, along with Saigon Sisters' executive chef Matt Riordan and line cook Amy Gajewski plan to open Bang Chop Thai Kitchen by mid-late September.
"The Thai concept is very natural for us," Aregoni says, adding that she and her family grew up in Thailand and her go-to cuisine after Vietnamese is Thai, which she also cooks at home. They took over the Zenba space "about a month ago" and are aiming for a "simple, small menu" of "iconic Thai dishes." The spot, which was both "the right size and the right area," will be BYOB, something Aregoni says the neighborhood is in need of.
Expect 35 seats inside with an emphasis on takeout and delivery. The menu size will be kept small, probably 12 items in total, all under $15. Bang Chop Thai Kitchen will be run by Gajewski, who has been at Saigon Sisters for nearly four years. Aregoni promoted Gajewski, who also spent time at Pops for Champagne (Riordan's previous employer as well), to the position of kitchen manager at Bang Chop.
Aregoni also teased expansion plans for Saigon Sisters, but did not reveal details. Look for more information on Bang Chop Thai Kitchen as the September opening draws near.