Art and Claire Jilandharn, owners of Royal Orchid in Montpelier and Ocha Thai in Waterbury, are poised to add a third eatery to their growing Thai food empire: Sabai Sabai, Middlebury’s first dedicated Thai restaurant.
The name means “comfortable” in Thai, says Claire Jilandharn, who expects the 55-seat restaurant at 22 Merchants Row to be open by Christmas. “It’s an opportunity for local people to have more choices, because they don’t have real Thai food here,” she says, and adds that the staff will serve “hearty lunches.”
The space last held Doria’s Restaurant, which closed two springs ago. The Jilandharns, who say they have long wanted to open an eatery in the area, signed the lease and began renovations in mid-September.
Claire Jilandharn says the menu will resemble those of their other two eateries, but diners can also expect sushi and Thai specials.