Graham Kilmer

Sticky Rice Expanding to Brady Street

Thai-Lao takeout spot in Riverwest plans second location with sit-down dining on Brady St.

By - May 2nd, 2022 05:51 pm
707 E. Brady St., viewed from across N. Van Buren St. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

707 E. Brady St., viewed from across N. Van Buren St. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Sticky Rice, a restaurant in Riverwest that serves Thai and Lao cuisine, is planning to open a second location on Brady Street.

The owners, Leo KingsawanKhamlae Phonisay and Teerasak Boonwatana, are taking over a space that was briefly occupied by The Truck Stop at 707 E. Brady St. They recently filed an application for a restaurant license with the City of Milwaukee.

Kingsawan told Urban Milwaukee that fans of the Riverwest location can expect the same menu, with the exception of some additions. The Brady Street location has a larger kitchen, he said, “we just have an opportunity to make a lot more.”

Sticky Rice opened in Riverwest in August 2020. In fact, Kingsawan and his partners signed their lease for the space at 1000 E. Locust St. in March 2020, the same month the COVID-19 pandemic hit Milwaukee in force. The business is in a small space that only offers takeout. Kingsawan told Urban Milwaukee in March 2021, “Being a takeout spot helped, if we were dine-in it wouldn’t help as much.”

Kingsawan said they faced many of the struggles other businesses did that year. But things gradually got better, and “Where we’re at now is really great.” He said the neighborhood has been very supportive, and they’re excited to be opening a second location near Downtown.

In fact, the owners of Stick Rice have long been interested in Downtown. “We just kind of ran into this opportunity,” Kingsawan said. “We’ve always looked at expanding and operating on a busier street.”

The Truck Stop recently moved to the kitchen at the Hi-Hat and Garage, 1701 N. Arlington Pl. The owners were planning the move for months, having filed a business application for their new digs in early March.

The new location on Brady Street will also allow Sticky Rice to serve sit-down customers in a dining area for the first time. Kingsawan said it will operate similar to fast-casual restaurants like Noodles & Company.

Sticky Rice serves Thai and Laotian dishes, and Kingsawan said that while the two cuisines are technically separate, “they are very,very similar.”

The restaurant serves favorites of Southeast Asian cuisine like Drunken Noodles and Pad Thai. Kingsawan said diners interested in a more traditional Thai-Lao dish, that is just as delicious, should try the Larb, a meat salad typically made with ground pork. While Larb is widely eaten in Southeast Asian countries, it is the national dish of Laos. Kingsawan said it’s one of his personal favorites on the menu at Sticky Rice.

The restaurants planned hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. The owners plan to open for business by June 1.

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