Business as usual: New restaurants to open
by Star staff
Oct 22, 2012 | 6483 views |  0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sam Sutchaleo plans to open a Thai restaurant on Noble Street soon. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
Sam Sutchaleo plans to open a Thai restaurant on Noble Street soon. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
New Thai restaurant to open downtown

A new dining experience is is planned for Noble Street in the near future.

Thai One On, a new Thai restaurant, will be opening at 911 Noble St., hopefully by Nov. 1, said owner Sam Sutchaleo.

Sutchaleo said he has years of restaurant experience and owned two restaurants in Indianapolis and one in California before moving to Calhoun County four years ago to manage O'Charley’s Restaurant.

While he likes Alabama and its friendly people, since moving here, he has missed owning his own restaurant, Sutchaleo said. So, he decided to take the plunge on Noble Street.

“I’m still young,” Sutchaleo said. “I can do this again.”

The restaurant will offer fresh Thai food for dinner and lunch — plenty of blanched and steamed vegetables, curries — everything made to order and prepped that day, he said. He believes the restaurant will be well received with Calhoun County residents, even those who have never experienced Thai food before. Thai food isn’t just spicy Chinese food, Sutchaleo said. It’s a blend of spices and layers of flavor that he believes people will really enjoy.

“People who have never had it will love it, I know,” Sutchaleo.

The restaurant will seat about 40 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Meals will be mid-range from about $8 to $12. Sutchaleo also plans to host special events such as wine tastings probably monthly that pair wines with Thai food, he said.

Dialysis center underway downtown

Local contractor Eugene Turner broke ground on a new dialysis center on Noble Street across from the City Meeting Center for owner 1600 Noble Street Anniston LLC.

According to plans presented to the city, the building will be 5,660 square feet and will have nine or 10 treatment areas, office and conference space, said Larry Talley, city inspector. There is no completion date on the plans, Talley said.

Toby Bennington, Anniston city planner, said the business is one that is allowed in the city’s central business district and he thinks the location, being close to the hospitals, makes it an ideal fit.

“It’s a very good design,” Bennington said. “It’s a continuing medical need. We’re excited about them choosing that location.”

Montgomery-based firm Cherry McNab Architects designed the center.

Old Quintard building to get new life

The former Regions Bank building is scheduled for a facelift, if the project is approved by the Anniston City Council on Tuesday.

Anniston Restoration LLC, bought the building at auction in June for $335,500, according to Calhoun County property tax records. The company is working with local architect Bill Whitaker on renovating and improving the property.

Once renovations are finished, Whitaker said, they hope the building will again be one of the crown jewels of Quintard Avenue.

“Their intent is to develop this into premium office space in Anniston,” Whitaker said.

The building, which he estimates could house up to nine tenants, will have 14,973 square feet of leaseable space upstairs and 15,759 square feet on the lower level.

Inside, construction has already begun, including the completion of asbestos abatement, he said.

The exterior improvements have to be approved by the council and haven’t begun yet. After receiving the go-ahead from council members, exterior renovations will begin, including removing the auction sign which is still on the property, Whitaker said.

The company hopes to complete renovations by the end of the year, Whitaker said.

The owner has approached tenants of the Wells Fargo building on the other side of Quintard, who will be forced to vacate their offices by the end of the year. Wells Fargo announced in August plans to tear down the building and build a new one without tenant space. But Whitaker said that wasn’t the primary reason to purchase and renovate the Regions building now.

“That was in the mix of ingredients,” Whitaker said. “It’s almost right across the street and an obvious opportunity for us.”

But the building was a great investment, he said, and could be one of the landmark buildings along the Quintard Avenue corridor.

Anniston OfficeMax to close

The OfficeMax store at 620 S. Quintard Avenue will close as of Oct. 27, according to store sales specialist John Jordan.

The company’s Impress department, which did copying jobs for clients, was closed last week, and the supplies sent to other local stores.

"We're sending customers to other locations," Jordan said.

OfficeMax operates another store in the Oxford Exchange.

— Laura Camper

T’s returns, opening in mall

Terri Edwards might have a different restaurant in another location, but her desire to serve quality food has not changed.

Edwards expects her new restaurant, T’s, to open this week in the food court of Quintard Mall. Edwards is manager while her husband Benny Edwards, is the owner.

“It has changed, but we can still give good quality food,” Edwards said.

The couple previously ran T’s Unique Café in Golden Springs, which closed almost a year ago.

“I’m very excited,” Edwards said about her business opening. “I’m sorry I had to lose the other restaurant, but the economy was bad and I think we were in kind of a bad location.”

Edwards, who was setting up the restaurant on Friday with her husband, said T’s will offer many of the same dishes her previous restaurant had, including soups, sandwiches and subs.

“Our sandwiches, subs and garlic bread will all still be homemade,” Edwards said.

New to the menu will be fried foods such as fried green tomatoes and fried mushrooms. Due to limited space however, T’s will not offer any baked goods as at the previous restaurant. Edwards said T’s will also offer catering services.

Edwards said she expects the mall restaurant to be a temporary situation.

“We’re trying to save up money and hopefully open a standalone restaurant somewhere else,” she said.

Edwards said she has been encouraged by positive feedback from the public about her decision to open a new restaurant.

“People have commented on our Facebook page and people have come by asking when we will open,” she said. “It’s nice to know we had something good.”

— Patrick McCreless

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