The owners of a Thai food place plan to open a fried-chicken restaurant in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market this fall.
Blon Hang and Yang Hang are the owners of Rak Thai Bistro at the Downtown Market, at 435 Ionia Ave. SW.
They are now leasing a second space in the indoor Market Hall and will open Juju Bird restaurant in October. Construction on the space will begin on Sept. 2.
Juju Bird will serve buttermilk fried chicken, wings, chicken tenders, fried-chicken sandwiches, sides, such as mashed potatoes and gravy, and deli salads.
“Everyone loves fried chicken, all over the world. It’s a go-to comfort food,” Blon Hang said. “We’ve just had our best year ever at Rak Thai, and we’re excited to experiment with a brand-new idea at the Downtown Market.”
Juju Bird will offer dine-in, takeout and catering services.
It will be located in the space previously occupied by Making Thyme Kitchen, which is expanding into a stand-alone location in Grand Rapids’ Alger Heights neighborhood this fall.
The Hangs have been in the restaurant business for 10 years, owning and managing Thai restaurants in Grand Rapids.
They grew up working in their parents’ Chinese restaurant in northern Michigan.
Founded in 2013, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a $30-million, LEED-certified, mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods and growing.
It leases space to emerging and experienced “food artisans” and merchants and features a 24-vendor Market Hall and two full-service restaurants.