Chao, the new Asian restaurant from the folks behind the just-closed Latitude Eight Thai Grill, opens this weekend on the northeast corner of Dobson and Germann in Chandler.
The work-in-progress interior of Chao (pronounced “chow”) features clean lines and a modern decor. It includes two dining areas and a bar area, which can seat a total of 120 people.
The restaurant takes its name from Thailand’s Chao Phraya River, a theme reinforced with rope fixtures and old-timey long-filament light bulbs hanging from cords.
Menus from the hostess stand will offer nosh plates – such as spring rolls and satays – as well as full entrees, including many faves from Latitude Eight. But only 50%-60% of the menu is Thai. There also will be dishes from other Asian countries.
A banquette is backed by a grab-your-own-booze bar. Just kidding, the booze is just being temporarily stored there. It’s actually going to be a planter separating the dining area from the bar area.
The far end of the dining room can be closed off with glass doors (including sliding glass pocket doors you can’t see here) to create a private dining or computer-wired meeting room.
Following the trend, bathrooms are universal. There are five individual stalls with doors…
… but there are separate sink areas for men and women, as you can see from this view.
Here’s what one of the four sinks looks like. Très chic!
Anyone read Thai? I’m told this sign on the wall is the ASU school fight song translated into Thai. Seriously.
Taking a page from popular wine bars like Postino and The Living Room, happy hour will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Deals will include 32-ounce pitchers of craft beers for just $5.
Eight beers will be available on draft for the opening, but eventually there will be 18 – with 16 of them craft beers. There also will be a large selection of beers in cans.
Following another trend, the bar will feature glass doors that open to allow it to serve customers on the patio.
Speaking of the patio, Chao will have one of the largest in the East Valley. It can seat 160 people and includes two fire pits.
Here’s a look at the south side of the patio, which wraps around…
… to the east side.
Chao will have a couple of invitation-only training nights this week, then open to the public at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Starting Monday, it’ll be open at 11 a.m. daily.
You can check for updates on the old Latitude Eight Facebook page, which the owners temporarily are using for Chao.