Cary St. space trading Elephant Thai for Crazy Thai

Crazy Thai Fusion Restaurant plans to open in the former Elephant Thai location at 1100 W. Cary St. near VCU. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A VCU-area restaurant building won’t stay dormant for long after its longtime tenant closed last month.

Crazy Thai Fusion Restaurant is taking over the former Elephant Thai spot at 1100 W. Cary St., at the corner of Harrison Street.

Elephant Thai closed in June after 15 years at the location. Owner Tosaporn Thongpraiwan still runs an Elephant Thai location at 4401 W. Broad St. between Scott’s Addition and Willow Lawn.

The Elephant Thai location at 11676 W. Broad St. in the Downtown Short Pump shopping center is owned by another group not affiliated with Thongpraiwan.

Crazy Thai is targeting a September opening, according to Natthachai Chusing, who will be overseeing the new venture, his first in Richmond.

He and his wife previously owned Thai Thai 2 Go in Newport News until they sold it about three years ago in favor of other employment opportunities in metro Richmond.

Crazy Thai looks to fuse a variety of Thai dishes with several traditional American favorites such as burgers and chicken, Chusing said, adding its main menu remains under development.

“We think this is a concept that will be new and fresh for Richmond,” Chusing said. “It’s going to be a place that will draw all kinds of customers.”

Chusing said he’ll invest about $100,000 in the 2,500-square-foot space, which includes overhauling the dining areas and new kitchen equipment. He added the restaurant also is seeking an ABC license to serve beer, wine and mixed drinks.

“We want to make this space very inviting to the students and residents that live nearby,” Chusing said. “Being near VCU we feel is a plus, and we want to make those students and nonstudents feel welcomed.”

Crazy Thai plans to work with several third-party food delivery services, including UberEats, Doordash and Grubhub, after opening.

The restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Richard Holden, principal broker and owner of Holden Realty, handled Crazy Thai’s lease transaction.

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