Thai Restaurant ‘Be More Thai’ Opens in Federal Hill

| March 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Thai Restaurant Be More Thai recently opened at 1006 Light St. in Federal Hill. It fills a space vacated by Thai Yum, which closed in 2019.

Be More Thai is owned by Chonlawit Boontawee and Titiporn Sangma. Boontawee grew up in Bangkok, but has been living in Northern Virginia since college. He spent 18 years working in IT and also managing restaurants, before looking to open his own Thai restaurant. He was looking to open his restaurant in the Washington, D.C. area, but started looking in Baltimore f0r a more affordable option. He was familiar with Baltimore from visiting a friend who owns a Thai restaurant in the city.

Boontawee and Sangma found the opportunity to buy the business from Thai Yum and loved the Federal Hill area. Boontawee said he especially likes how close it is to the Inner Harbor and stadiums. He also believes the younger demographic in Federal Hill will be “more adventurous” eaters.

Boontawee and Sangma began renovating the 1,800 sq. ft. building in 2019, running into some delays due to contractors and the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally opened its doors on January 31st. The building was completely redone with new floors, renovated walls and ceilings, and a lot of artwork. The first floor, which has the kitchen and a dining room, was designed to give an underwater feel with fish artwork. The second floor, which has a dining room and bar, was designed to give the feel of being up in the trees with artwork of birds, plants, and trees. Most of the artwork was done by Thai artist Katig.

The tables at Be More Thai are made from wood from Thailand. This spring Be More Thai will also have outdoor seating out front.

Be More Thai serves “traditional” Thai food, not fusion food, according to Boontawee. Menu items include appetizers, soups, salads, curry dishes, rice and noodle dishes, entrees, specials, and desserts. With many dishes at Be More Thai, customers can choose a protein including chicken, pork, tofu and veggie, beef, shrimp, and seafood. Customers can also adjust the spiciness of their orders as Be More Thai uses fresh chilies to up the heat.

Boontawee said some of his favorite dishes are the Crabmeat Fried Rice and the Ka Pow Fried Rice, and noted that the Pad Thai is always popular in Thai restaurants.

Be More Thai is open 1130am to 9pm on Sunday to Thursday and 1130am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Boontawee said they may look to add a weekend brunch in the future with more soups and congee.

Be More Thai will soon have its beer and wine license activated. It also serves Thai Iced Tea, Thai Iced Coffee, juices and teas, and herbal drinks such as chrysanthemum juice, roselle, and longan.

Be More Thai is currently open for dine-in at 25 percent capacity because of City regulations, but also offers carryout, its own delivery service in a two-mile radius, and delivery through GrubHub, DoorDash and UberEats.

Chonlawit Boontawee

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