When Kirk Coult and his wife Paula Rungsawang open Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro and Sushi Bar on Main Street this winter, they will rely on a successful formula. The Breck restaurant, located in a newly constructed commercial space next to the Gold Pan Saloon, will be their third location in Colorado, following others in Aspen, Basalt, and Denver (named best Thai restaurant by 5280 magazine). Breck was a calculated next move: “The energy on Main Street is some of the best I’ve seen in any community, anywhere,” Coult says.
It’s been a few years since Breckenridge had a Thai spot, and there is reason to believe Happy Bowl (bangkokhappybowl.com) will arrive with staying power. Rungsawang, who is Thai, has been running Thai restaurants for 25 years, first in Australia and later in the United States. She trained an all-Thai chef team for this opening, and the building’s interior wood finishes reflect Thai culture with bright pastel colors, an ambience Coult describes as a “come as you are” atmosphere. Coult says dinner entrées will be priced between $10 and $20, and there will be some unique plates on the menu, including pad Thai lobster, pumpkin curry lamb, and Hawaiian pineapple fried rice with shrimp and salmon.
And thanks to a quirky coincidence, Bangkok Happy Bowl will be the second southeast Asian eatery to open on north Main Street since August, which is when Pho Real, a Vietnamese fast food nook, debuted at the corner of Watson and Main. In Pho Real’s case, Texas lawyer-turned-co-owner Chad Washenfelder traveled to Vietnam for a crash course in the genre last fall and says Pho Real’s street cred comes from his sister-in-law, Thuy Washenfelder, who grew up in Hanoi and helps him run it. “I call her my authenticity expert,” he says. You can expect a quality, healthy meal (we recommend the Vietnamese meatball pho) for under $12. gophoreal.com