Couple Create A Restaurant Focused On More Than Food

Original story taken from High Point Enterprise

Known for their unique cuisine, husband and wife Todd and Tu Sen pursue their dream of opening their own restaurant, 98 Asian Bistro, in High Point.

Along with other family members, the couple previously helped operate Thai Chiang Mai, a restaurant that

Todd and Tu Sen's restaurant offers a wide variety of cuisines and tastes from different Asian cultures.
Todd and Tu Sen’s restaurant offers a wide variety of cuisines and tastes from different Asian cultures.

was located in High Point from 1998 to 2013, until it moved to Greensboro.

“When we had to leave, it was heartbreaking,” Sen said. “We love this community and really wanted to be back in High Point. We think it’s a great location.”

However, leaving High Point has been the least of Sen’s travels and tribulations.

A Restaurant With a Family History

Sen and her family were refugees from Laos during the Vietnam War who came to the U.S. in 1986.

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Frightened and in danger, Sen and her family left their home of Thailand, never to return.

Tu Sen’s mother is from Thailand, and 98 Asian Bistro features cuisine from this country, as well as others. The menu has some of the same offerings as the former Thai Chiang Mai, and some new features. The restaurant’s name is a tribute to Sen’s father, who died in 1998, shortly after Thai Chiang Mai opened.

“We came here as refugees, and we always had struggles. Without him, we wouldn’t have had Thai Chiang Mai,” Sen said. “That American flag in the parking lot for us is a blessing. I love coming to work knowing that flag is here.”

A Great Location Indeed

98 Asian Bistro is using a space previously occupied by Aamco Transmission, which had went out of business. Having worked with Kester for two years to find a location, the Sens initially planned to utilize the former Young’s Furniture building on N. Main Street. The idea was scrapped when it proved too costly, and the Young’s building was later demolished.

The restaurant, now located next to the Sears Hometown Store, is part of the second phase of the redevelopment of the site, said the property manager Buck Kester. Plans are to develop four additional spaces, and negotiations are ongoing with prospective tenants.

“The game plan is to develop the whole building, upfit the outside of the whole building and join in the revitalization of High Point,” Kester said.

Another existing business in the Lyles building, A1 Transmission & Auto, will remain.

“We plan to keep them there. We think that offers kind of a unique experience, where you can go to lunch and get your car inspected or get an oil change,” he said.

High Point is Culture-Friendly

98 Asian Bistro is one of the many Asian food options that calls High Point a home. This small town in North Carolina really does pack a cultural punch.

Restaurants such as La Hacienda, a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican cuisine, Claddagh Restaurant & Pub that is home to the finest Irish delicacies, and Southern Roots who serve a full menu of southern comfort food, are just a couple examples of the many restaurants that characterize High Point.

For more information on High Point’s dining options, click here.

Want to learn more about Todd and Tu Sen’s restaurant? Click here.

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