The popular pan-Asian restaurant, Ahan, will be opening its doors at its new address, 744 Williamson St., to the public this coming Thursday. This relocation comes after two exclusive events for friends and family held on the prior Sunday and Monday.
Owners Jamie and Chuckie Brown-Soukaseume have impressively readied the space in about 18 days since acquiring it. Chuckie remarked, “Pretty much everything that’s here is refurbished from the old Eldorado spot. We got in here on the 1st, so about an 18-day turnaround from the start.”
The refurbishing involved repainting booths, sanding and staining tables, and having the bar area’s mural revamped by local artist Owen Tuohy. Chuckie attributed the quick setup to the collective effort of their team, stating, “Just a bunch of hands on deck.”
Previously situated inside The Bur Oak music venue on Winnebago Street since August 2020, Ahan had initiated its operations offering takeout-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the increasing demand for its popular dishes like Lao egg rolls, chèvre wontons, red curry udon, and drunken noodles, the establishment found the need to move to a larger space. They left their former premises on September 30th, as informed by Chuckie.
The couple, who tied the knot in April, extended gratitude towards their diligent staff and other contributors who assisted in the transition. Jamie humorously remarked that they were virtually “locked in the space working,” with only brief pauses for meals. She added, “We just have the most amazing team in town. It was really smooth.”
Earlier in the year, Ahan, translating to “food” in Lao, received a significant boost in its acclaim. Jamie was recognized as a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Award under the “emerging chef” category. This honor resulted in an influx of patrons to their restaurant. Before Ahan, Jamie had a three-year tenure as the executive sous chef for the erstwhile Sujeo, a venture co-owned by renowned chef Tory Miller.
The new location, formerly the Eldorado Grill, promises to bring the same flavors and ambiance that Ahan patrons have grown to adore. As Chuckie mentioned, the private event on Monday was a heartfelt gesture towards their peers in the restaurant industry. He reflected, “It was great. It was a lot of fun, so a lot of friendly faces, and all the staff was excited to be cooking and serving again and no longer doing construction.”