Ethan Duran

Riverwest Embraces Thai and Lao Takeout

Sticky Rice opened on E. Locust Ave. in August. Thai and Laotian cuisine with vegan and vegetarian options.

By - Mar 3rd, 2021 01:28 pm
Sticky Rice, 1000 E. Locust St. Photo by Dave Reid.

Sticky Rice, 1000 E. Locust St. Photo by Dave Reid.

A new restaurant serving Thai and Laotian cuisine has opened in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.

Sticky Rice opened at 1000 E. Locust St. in August 2020 and took Thai Lotus’ place after the previous restaurant closed in 2019. 

The restaurant doesn’t offer dine-in service, but customers can order noodles, curry and fried rice to go or have it delivered. The menu offers popular options like Pad Kee Mao (or “Drunken Noodles,”) Pad Thai, and authentic soups like Tom Yum. Appetizer staples like egg rolls, crab rangoons, Lao sausages and Lao beef jerky are available as well. 

Hours of operation are from Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Leo Kingsawan, who owns Sticky Rice with Khamlae Phonisay and Teerasak Boonwatana, said that they signed a lease for the property in March, but had to delay their opening due to the pandemic. Getting a feel for how much ingredients to order compared to how many customers ordered food posed another challenge. 

Despite facing uncertainty, Kingsawan said that the restaurant was well received by local Riverwest residents. After gaining regular customers over a few months, Sticky Rice started to offer vegan and vegetarian options in its menu. 

“Being a takeout spot helped, if we were dine-in it wouldn’t help as much,” said Kingsawan. “It’s hard to make plans during a pandemic. We hope to keep open and keep everyone happy.” 

Kingsawan said that he hopes to open another Sticky Rice location with dine-in options. 

The 3,008-square foot, two-and-a-half story property was built in 1893 according to city records. Currently owned by 1126 Kane LLC, the property was bought from Richard Kwiatkowski in 2020. City records show that Kwiatkowski owned the lot since 1977. The building holds one commercial units and five apartments upstairs.

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