GREENSBORO - Downtown is getting a Laotian restaurant.
Lao Restaurant and Bar is opening at 219-A S. Elm St.
It is opening in the space vacated by Crafted: The Art of the Taco, which recently moved across the street to 220 S. Elm St.
"It will be the first Lao restaurant in Greensboro," said Vonne Keobouala. Keobouala is opening the restaurant with her brother Matt "Jit" Lothakoun.
The two Laotian Americans opened Simply Thai at 112 E. Main St. in Jamestown in December.
The Jamestown restaurant is a sister restaurant to Simply Thai at 2041 Timberline Station in Elon.
The siblings opened the flagship restaurant eight years ago.
Lao Restaurant will feature a simple menu of the traditional Laotian dishes Keobouala and Lothakoun remember from their childhood. "For those who have traveled in Laos, they will be familiar with it," said Keobouala.
Sticky rice with chili paste dipping sauce, grilled fish, pork belly and herbal salads tossed with fish sauce and lime are the traditional flavors of the country.
Keobouala said the cuisine is not too removed from the cuisine of Thailand. The countries share a border and flavors. "It'll satisfy all ages," said Keobouala. "There are people who crave this kind of food but don't know how to make it."
The restaurant will feature a full bar and beer from around the world, particularly beers from Laos and other Asian countries.
Keobouala said work has already begun to make the space theirs and the new restaurant will be open late April or May.