Local Thai restaurant expands to downtown PO

Residents of Port Orchard are excited about the expansion of a popular Manette restaurant into the city’s downtown.

Khao Soi, a Thai establishment in Bremerton’s Manette neighborhood, recently opened the doors to its second location at 834 Bay St. Before, the rustic building had been home to another Port Orchard favorite: the Bay Street Bistro, a staple in the city’s fine dining scene.

Khao Soi’s Sumatsa Tamayo hopes the expansion can continue to provide a spectacle in the dining options of South Kitsap residents.

“It’s pretty,” she said about the city’s downtown. “Much busier than we expected, not crazy because people are still getting to know the food.”

Customers already familiar with their dishes have been part of the heightened excitement for Khao Soi’s arrival. “I know everybody here loves the Thai food, so I think these guys will be here for a while,” customer Nate Parkinson said.

The first location, located on East 11th Street in Bremerton, was opened in February of 2020 and was hit along with other local businesses by the effects of the COVID pandemic. Tamayo said by using delivery and to-go options to maintain business, the restaurant came out on top and went on to set its sights on growing its business outreach.

What better way to do that than by going where everybody already seems to know your name? “It’s a great location. We have a lot of customers from Port Orchard, so they know the food and go to the Bremerton one. Now they have this one,” Tamayo said.

The new location’s soft opening offers a limited menu, but Tamayo wants to open a larger seating area and hopes to have the bar open in a month with an expanded selection of food and drink.

“We kind of want to do, like, special cocktails and fancier drinks,” she added.