POCATELLO — It turns out that it is perilous to serve food out of a trailer during the winter, but Mam Phranasith and Bow Sirinanuwut found a solution.
In about two months, Thai Zap will also be an indoor Pocatello restaurant after serving customers for four years in food truck-esque fashion in the Gate City. Phranasith and Sirinanuwut will be co-owners.
Thai Zap was open during the winter for the first time in 2018-19, leading to pipes breaking among other issues that arose due to cold conditions. That experience gave Phranasith and Sirinanuwut more reason to jointly start an indoor restaurant.
“It was so cold,” Phranasith said. “That’s why we tried to do the restaurant.”
Sirinanuwut added, “Some people would like to dine in. They want to sit down and enjoy the food.”
Phranasith has considered expanding over the years.
“We couldn’t find the right place to open, like a good location, not too expensive, a good size for us,” Phranasith said. “Now, we found it.”
While Phranasith spoke to the Journal in 2016 about the difficulties of running a full-fledged Thai food restaurant in addition to taking care of three children, it became more viable with the help of Sirinanuwut, a Thai Zap employee who doesn’t have ownership in the original trailer food business.
“We see that we can work together and make things better,” Sirinanuwut said. “We like each other. We get along. And then we started talking, ‘Oh, maybe we can do this together.”
Sirinanuwut owned two restaurants in New Orleans before moving to Pocatello two years ago.
“It’s in your blood because I’ve been doing it all my life,” Sirinanuwut said. “The more you want to go away, the more it pulls you way in.”
Both Sirinanuwut and Phranasith are from Thailand, but didn’t know each other before uniting in the Gate City.
When the restaurant opens, the food truck will be temporarily closed, so all hands can be on deck at the new place. Sirinanuwut will be the forward-facing person for the restaurant, coordinating customer service among other things, while Mam will cook.
For the first time, Thai Zap customers will be able to call in orders. The ownership was worried about the workload that would ensue if they enabled that at their stand. The address of the restaurant will be 465 Yellowstone Avenue in Suite A in Pocatello.
Back-to-back, Sirinanuwut and Sirinanuwut answered “no” when they were asked if they were nervous about the upcoming venture.
“When you do something you love and you put 100 percent into what you’re doing, everything comes out good,” Phranasith said.