ROTHESAY — One of Saint John’s most popular restaurants has opened a second location in Rothesay.
Splash, a go-to place for Thai food in the city, has opened a second location in Rothesay at 35 Lacey Drive. The new location, called Splash-To-Go, aims to translate the food and quality of the sit-down restaurant to the take-out experience.
“We had customers that were always saying, ‘Oh you guys should open something in the Valley.’ It was always a little poke, something we kept hearing,” says John Likourgiotis, who co-owns Splash with his brother, Chris. “We wanted to do something more but we weren’t quite sure.”
But as take-out orders at the Rothesay Avenue location started to increase, the businesses next moved became clear.
“Our takeout business was growing and growing to the point where we felt like we needed a second location, as opposed to trying to grow the first location to the point that it could accommodate the extra load,” says Likourgiotis.
“We were always looking for a new adventure as far as doing something new and fresh.”
Though the new Rothesay location does have counter seating for those looking to have a quick meal there, its focus is to provide quality Splash take-out dishes.
“If somebody wants to come in and order something, take it and sit down and eat on the counter, they can do that. But we purposefully wanted to keep it so that we don’t get involved in a dining-room setting,” says Likourgiotis.
“We just felt the market out here in the Valley was more conducive to take out. I like to think we’ve built a very nice atmosphere on Rothesay Avenue and if somebody did want to come and eat-in, then we have a location to do that.”
The new location will be easy to access for residents in Rothesay, Quispamsis, Hampton, French Village and even Norton.
“Right now, we do have a lot of people who stop into Rothesay Avenue for takeout on the way home, so we do anticipate a slight loss in business from the Rothesay Avenue location,” says Likourgiotis. “But at the same time, we’re providing something to our customers and hopefully potential new customers, which is the convenience of having something that’s closer to home.”
Since opening in 2011, Splash has created a large base of loyal customers. Under the direction of head chef Phongsri Nilkamhaeng, the restaurant has the reputation of offering fresh, flavourful Thai dishes made-to-order. Likourgiotis credits that, along with Splash’s over atmosphere and service, to its popularity.
“Splash is a restaurant where everything is made fresh-to-order. I have three people in on a daily basis starting at 9 a.m. to take care of just prep,” he says. “For instance, the spring rolls, they’re made and hand-rolled every day. The chicken is cut on a daily basis, the vegetables are cut on a daily basis. I think people see that and they appreciate that.”
Splash-To-Go has that same consistency in both food quality and service. Its staff has already undergone training for months at the Rothesay Avenue location to perfect dishes and recipes. A lot of its sauces and appetizers will be prepared at the Rothesay Avenue location too, to ensure the quality and taste customers expect.
“It’s a take-out, but we’ve taken a lot of time and effort and money in order to design and build it so that it’s reflective of the food we serve,” says Likourgiotis.