Liang’s Thai Food opens brick-and-mortar restaurant in Broomfield

Jaepop Pagdee wishes his mom could see him now.

This week, he opened Liang’s Thai Food’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant at 155 Nickel St. in Broomfield.

“We used to have an old metal food cart on the 16th Street Mall, and now we have two locations,” Pagdee said. “I get a little emotional when I think about how far we’ve come.”

His mom, Liang, first started the business as a food cart on 16th Street Mall in 2007, and gained attention, and long lines, over the years. But Liang passed away eight months ago.

DENVER, CO – MARCH 8: Cook Chanakun Peckpiboon, left, and Jaepop Pagdee, owner of LiangÕs Thai Food, make orders during a busy lunch hour on the 16th street mall on March 8, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Pagdee, who took over five years ago, moved the business from a food cart to a kiosk next to the 16th Street Mall’s Target last year, and he was forced to take some of his mom’s dishes off the menu to make business more efficient. But this Broomfield location is his way of honoring her with all of her recipes, including Liang’s egg rolls, crab and cheese wontons, noodle soup, Thai tom yum soup and Thai coconut soup.

“Because I’ve been working in such a small space for a long time, I think we can pull it off over here,” Pagdee said. “I want to see how far I can take her business.”

Liang’s Thai Food is known for its cooked-to-order noodles, curries and stir-fries. Liang worked at a variety of Thai restaurants in town before deciding to start her own cart, and Pagdee has been cooking with her since the beginning.

“I can’t compete with my mom’s skill; she measured everything with her eyes, and I go by the book a little bit,” Pagdee said. “There’s no way I could train people on how my mom cooked.”

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