Denver couple planning ‘authentic Thai’ in Aspen |

Denver couple planning ‘authentic Thai’ in Aspen

Andre SalvailThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado
Courtesy of Bangkok Happy BowlThis sign appeared briefly last week in the window of the North Mill Station restaurant space formerly occupied by a Papa John's pizza franchise. Bangkok Happy Bowl, whose owners operate Wild Bangkok Bar & Grill in Denver, is expected to open in the vacant spot near Clark's Market in late January.

ASPEN – A few local restaurants offer Thai-inspired dishes in their mix, but no one in Aspen is doing it on a full-time basis.That’s about to change. Bangkok Happy Bowl is moving into the North Mill Station space formerly held by the Papa John’s pizza franchise that closed earlier this fall.Kirk and Paula Coult, who own and operate Wild Bangkok Bar and Grill near Denver’s 16th Street Mall, recently signed a long-term lease for the property after reaching a deal arranged through commercial real estate broker Ruth Kruger.Reached for comment Sunday afternoon, Kirk Coult said the Aspen location will be a slightly different concept from the Denver eatery, but that many of the offerings and recipes will be the same. His wife Paula is a Thai native and has been running restaurants for more than 20 years. She will oversee a team of Thai chefs in Aspen, he said.”We love Aspen and that’s the reason we made the decision to see what the possibilities were,” Coult said. “Aspen has a lot of choices for different cuisine but there is no Thai cuisine. We want to bring something unique to the marketplace.”The Aspen location will have a small area for dining in, but plans to emphasize take-out and delivery operations. Coult described the fare as “organic and authentic Thai cuisine” and said that similar to the two-year-old Denver eatery, the Aspen restaurant will be centered around fresh, handpicked vegetables.He hopes to open sometime in late January, and once the restaurant is up and running, he will seek a local liquor license.Bangkok Happy Bowl’s menu will list 35 different entrees, 10 appetizers and 10 desserts. Coult said that generally, the Aspen eatery will charge slightly higher prices than the Denver restaurant because of Aspen’s higher wholesale food costs.But local residents will see that the North Mill Station restaurant is geared toward them, he said, with service and specials that Aspenites have come to expect.”In Denver, we get a whole lot of Aspen customers already,” he said. “They always say they wish we were in Aspen. We looked at other mountain resort destinations, but this was the best fit for us.”Coult said he likes the location of his new eatery because there’s free parking and it’s easily accessible to people who shop at Clark’s Market, which anchors the North Mill Station commercial complex.He said he and his wife are setting up a residence in Aspen and plan to split time between here and Denver.Bangkok Happy Bowl’s menu will be similar to — but not a mirror image of – Wild Bangkok’s offerings, Coult said. Items at the Denver eatery include various dinner bowls, wok dishes, curry specialties, soups, appetizers and salads. To get a feel for the Coults’ approach to Thai cuisine, visit the website

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