A Thai restaurant has started renovations to a building on North Main Street adjacent to the historic North Theatre in Danville. Results from a recent dining survey from the Office of Economic Development were instrumental in researching and recruiting this new business.
The restaurant, Moon River Thai, expects to be operating within six weeks at 629 North Main Street. Parichat Mongkhonkham, owner, plans to be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with catering services for special events and business meetings, and eventually offer a breakfast menu.
Mongkhonkham, who along with her sister, Palinda, has operated four award-winning Thai restaurants, will serve Thai food and partner with the Historic North Theater to create special events. Customers can expect to be entertained by Thai and jazz music, plus Hollywood soundtracks and standards. Patrons of the Historic North Theatre can enjoy dinner and drinks before the show, and live music and drinks after the show, plus drinks and appetizers at intermission.
“We see the growth of the North Theater area as an arts district with unlimited potential, and we would be foolish not to want to be a part of it,” said Dan Doby, Mongkhonkham’s business advisor.
Mongkhonkham and Doby chose the name Moon River Thai to coincide with the “Hollywood” theme of the Historic North Theatre and its bed and breakfast. Owners of both the restaurant and the Historic North Theatre are eager to open the doors to this new restaurant and invite customers to experience the venue.
“We feel that the addition of Moon River Thai will help spur development along North Main Hill,” said Corrie Teague, project manager for the Office of Economic Development. “This restaurant, along with the incredible variety of events that take place at the Historic North Theatre, will draw citizens and visitors to this historic area of the city.”
In an effort to expand the dining options in Danville, the Office of Economic Development asked citizens to give their cuisine preferences in a survey. The results of the survey expressed a need for a Thai or Greek restaurant.
“As we work to bring more businesses to the River District and North Main Hill, we wanted to be sure we were catering to the desires of our citizens,” said Teague. “In conjunction with data on Danville’s current dining options, we were able to utilize these survey results to market to potential restaurateurs.”
“Every single person -- from inspectors, city employees, local citizens, to contractors -- has been incredibly open and supportive,” said Doby. “We have never seen such a tight-knit group of people, and they really mean it when they say they want you to be a part of their city.”
The location of a new restaurant on North Main Hill coincides with the establishment of a Tourism Zone designation. The new Tourism Zone covers the River District and crosses the Dan River to North Main all the way to W Thomas Street. The Office of Economic Development is in the process of developing an incentive program for this area. In the meantime, this project qualified for a $50,000 grant.