“I’ve been an active member of the SCCA because I like to be involved and know what’s going on with neighborhood businesses.”
SCCA Member: Rick Siewert, Siewert Cabinets

Seward Welcomes Soberfish, Thai and Sushi Bar

Soberfish Pic1

The Seward community has long been awaiting the return of a Thai restaurant to the neighborhood. The wait is over, Thai food is back in Seward! Soberfish Thai and Sushi Bar opened its doors this May, offering a taste of both Thai and Japanese culture . Over the past 6 months, Seward residents have been able to witness the development of Soberfish, located on Franklin and 27th Avenue. Soberfish is in the heart of the Seward neighborhood, and now the Seward community can experience the results of all the time, energy, and work that went into starting this business.

Soberfish is a family-owned establishment, that relies on the expertise experience of co-owners, Elle Kunsawat and Pao Thao (brother- and sister-in-law).  Soberfish is not the first restaurant opening for either of the owners. Elle currently owns a Thai restaurant on the eastside of St. Paul called East Side Thai. Pao owns two Sushi Tango establishments – one in Woodbury and the other in Uptown. Elle took some time recently to sit down and answer some questions about Seward’s newest restaurant.

Soberfish Pic2

JH: What drew you to the Seward neighborhood?

EK: Seward is a central location for our clients. We have a lot of clients in the St. Paul area and in the West Metro. Many people don’t want to come all the way to St. Paul for Thai food if they live in Brooklyn Park. People in St. Paul may want sushi, but don’t want to go all the way into Uptown or out to Woodbury.

Also, there is a lot of potential in terms of both residential and commercial customers in the area, based on our market research.

JH: How did you come up with the name?

EK: We wanted something fun. We chose the name Soberfish as a spinoff to Drunkenfish, the initial title of their restaurant negated due to trademark issues. Plus, Soberfish promotes more of a family-friendly environment, and has the potential to draw more people in.

JH: What made you choose to combine Thai AND Sushi?

EK: Pao has been in business for a long time. He and his brother have been establishing their career in Japanese cuisine since they were both teenagers. I have a Thai restaurant on the eastside of St. Paul, and have been in business for a while as well. We wanted to combine Thai and Sushi to diversify our menu for our clients. Sometimes a couple may come in and the husband may want sushi, but the wife doesn’t want raw food, she wants something more flavorful.

Soberfish Pic3

JH: Both you and Kou own restaurants already, why open a new one?

EK: We have a very close family connection. We live close to each other, we are used to doing life together. Everyone invloved understands that hard work is needed to make this restaurant a success.

JH: How did the soft opening go?

EK: We had two nights for our soft opening where we invited friends and family. The first night was a bit disappointing because we thought we would have a lot more. We invited many people that first Tuesday, but it seemed like they all showed up the following night for the second soft opening. Wednesday was a great success. So many people showed up, and the energy was very positive.

JH: How has business been so far?

EK: That following Friday, we opened up to the public, and the restaurant did very well in regards to both sales and turnout. We have received a lot of positive feedback, most of which has to do with how well the place looks. Secondly, the food. We have heard that the food is really good, the sushi rolls are very creative, and people are responding positively.

JH: Favorite menu item?

EK: I love my seafood dishes. My favorite is the Laab Salad. It’s a mix of Thai seasoning with raw fish with the sushi bar. It is exclusive to Soberfish. Also, the Soberfish Noodle is another exclusive dish that tastes amazing. Oysters are good, and we have a very unique, spicy oyster sauce to come with it.

Stop into Soberfish during happy hour (2pm – 6pm & 9pm – Close) and enjoy the great environment, amazing drinks, and delicious food for a great price! Also, from July 15th – July 21st, Soberfish will be offering 30% off of all their food, in celebration of their Grand Opening.

*Special thanks to Elle Kunsawat for her participation with this article.






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