- State Champs! Hillbillies Defeat CresskillPosted 2 weeks ago
- Thanksgiving Game Cancellation StandsPosted 3 weeks ago
- Car Totalled In Avenue CrashPosted 3 weeks ago
- Multi-Vehicle Crash Snarls AvenuePosted 1 month ago
- Top Stories For October 2014Posted 1 month ago
- Fire Damages Gerdes Avenue HomePosted 1 month ago
- School Field Foes Force Full Project ReviewPosted 1 month ago
- Town, PBA Reach Agreement On Police TechPosted 1 month ago
- Possible Break In Gas Station Murder TrialPosted 1 month ago
- Water Main Break Closes MontrosePosted 1 month ago
Thai Elephant Opening Restaurant In Verona
The owners of the very popular Thai Elephant food truck are going to be opening a restaurant in Verona this spring.
Jon and Pupay Hepner have leased the space next to Kate’s Kreations on Grove Avenue that used to be the home of Tortilla Sunrise. The restaurant will be called Aroy-D, which Jon Hepner says means “very yummy” in Thai.
“We’re excited,” he says. “This is a big change for us.”
The Hepners’ food truck has been on the road to success since the fall of 2011. Pupay Hepner was born and raised in Thailand, and went to culinary school there. She met her husband here in the U.S., where he was an IT professional. He would often bring his wife’s cooking for lunch, and soon she was cooking regularly for a dozen of his office mates. When layoffs loomed at his work three years ago, Hepner decided it was a sign that he needed a career change. He bought a used truck and, working on it nights and weekends, turned it into a haven for Thai street food. “I built the truck from Google and YouTube,” he quips. They began by parking it near the PATH stop in Hoboken and Hepner would corral commuters while his wife prepared the food.
Some Veronans have been lucky enough to catch the Thai Elephant in Montclair, where it sometimes parks by Montclair High School or in front of Olive That! And More, a store owned by Verona residents Steve Lehrhoff and Jennifer O’Sullivan. The Thai Elephant also hangs out at street festivals and corporate events. “We could be open seven days a week if we had a kitchen,” Hepner says he told his wife not long ago. To which she replied, “Why don’t we open a restaurant?”
Food trucks in most parts of the U.S. need to operate with a commissary, a place where the truck can be parked overnight and its operators can prep the food they sell. The Hepners had one, but it didn’t suit their growing needs. So when Lehrhoff, a friend, told them about the space in the Krauszers strip mall, they were all ears, big elephant ears.
When it opens in late May, Aroy-D will serve lunch and dinner, primarily takeout at first, while feeding the food truck business. Until then you can follow it on Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, the road. “What we do is very unique and authentic,” Hepner says. “Eating is everything in Thailand.”
Get News Updates By Email
Caldwell Environmental Commission Honors Kiernan
Willing Hearts, the Caldwell thrift store managed by Verona...
- Posted 2 hours ago
Maureen Grace O’Connor, 76
Mrs. Maureen Grace O’Connor, 76, died Saturday, December 20,...
- Posted 4 hours ago
VHS Says Thanks For Toy Drive
December 18, 2014 To All Verona Families, Thank you...
- Posted 5 hours ago
Where In Verona Is It? Week 52
This is it folks: The last week of MyVeronaNJ.com’s...
- Posted 3 years ago
Where In Verona Is It? Week 22
Naughty? Nice? We’re not going to be judgmental. We’re...
- Posted 4 years ago
PSEG: Here’s Verona Outage Map
With the millions of homes without power around New...
- Posted 2 years ago