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Manow Thai brings the taste of Thailand to Clarksville Commons

The new restaurant Manow Thai is bringing the taste of Thailand to Clarksville.

Situated between Bliss Nail Spa and You Pizza in Clarksville Commons on Clarksville Pike, the fast-casual restaurant brings the bold flavors of Thai cooking to the community.

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Co-owned and operated by brothers-in-law Pong Amornkit and Pun Kaotira, the two opened the restaurant last month.

Kaotira, 26, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Thailand, was raised in Clarksville and graduated from River Hill High School.

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Manow Thai owners Pong Amornkit, left, and Pun Kaotira. At center is Pam Amornkit, Pong’s wife and Pun’s sister.
Manow Thai owners Pong Amornkit, left, and Pun Kaotira. At center is Pam Amornkit, Pong’s wife and Pun’s sister. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

Already running Thai Paradise with Amornkit, a carryout-only Thai restaurant in Severna Park, he said he felt the need to open a Thai restaurant in the community he grew up in.

“Growing up in Clarksville, parents of my friends would always ask me where’s the best Thai food and my only recommendation was to drive 30 minutes from Howard County to get any kind of good Thai food,” Kaotira said. “We saw that there was definitely a need in the market for good Thai food, [and] we know that from our other restaurant that we can provide good quality food and service and we wanted to bring that over to Clarksville.”

“Manow,” which means lime in Thai, is the key ingredient in many Thai dishes, Kaotira said. The fruit adds the sour flavor that ties together the salty, sweet and sometimes spicy notes in Thai food.

The restaurant serves a variety of Thai dishes including curry, fried rice, noodles, soup and stir fry and offers gluten-free and vegan options.

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Troy Grant, 51, of Highland, who frequents the restaurant, said it is the customer service and quality food that brings him back.

“You can just feel the community when you’re there. You can feel it’s family-owned, it’s not a franchise, it’s warm, it’s special,” Grant said.

The restaurant, at 12250 Clarksville Pike, Suite F, is open from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It takes over the spot previously occupied by Kung Fu 12 Szechuan.

Kaotira said he hopes the restaurant offers a new dining experience to the community.

“[We] are hoping that by providing good quality Thai food and service, we can bring in a customer base that already loves Thai food but just wants it closer,” Kaotira said. “We [also] hope to bring in customers that have never had any experience with Thai food [who] want to be more open and adventurous to trying new food and new cuisines and new cultures.”

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