The second location of Shaw neighborhood favorite Beau Thai has opened in Mount Pleasant. The new spot, about three times the size of the original, offers a bigger bar, private dining and a whole new section of the menu.
The restaurant served its first meals over the weekend, according to co-owner Ralph Brabham. The new, larger space, designed by Will Couch, is a former library. "We could probably fit the entire first restaurant into the kitchen here," said Brabham. Like the original Beau Thai, family photos are a major design component, though these ones are in color. There are also drop bulb lighting fixtures, lots of wood and old school chairs that the owners picked up at an auction — they're from a former schoolhouse. At night, the lighting gives kind of a "dreamy feel" to the location, Brabham said. The team considered locations both in Mount Pleasant and in the H Street neighborhood before signing a lease.
Partner Aschara Viggsittaboot oversees the menu at both Beau Thai locations. Here, she's added an entire section of noodle bowls, broth-based dishes with bold flavors which have proven the most popular choice among the restaurant's early customers. At the bar, customers can find the same style of cocktails as the Shaw restaurant, plus lots of local beer options including DC Brau and Chocolate City, and wines from Country Vitner.
Beau Thai is open for lunch and dinner and will soon introduce its brunch, based on Thai street food dishes like rice soup and kanom krok. A private dining room in the back of the restaurant seats 12 to 14 people, and the restaurant will eventually use it for prix fixe Thai family style dinners about once a month, as well as other events like curry tastings.