Feve Co-Owners Open New Restaurant, ThiNi Thai

Oberlin’s new restaurant ThiNi Thai grabs the attention of passersby with its bright lights and painted mural. Above the front door, there is a large, arrow-shaped sign that reads, “ThiNi,” a Thai phrase that translates to “is here,” according to co-owner Matt Adelman.

Brothers Matt and Jason Adelman, owners of the Feve, opened the restaurant at the beginning of January. They were inspired by a trip they took to Chiang Mai, a city in the mountainous northern region of Thailand, where they met their tour guide and friend Aon Krittathiranon. After noticing the brothers’ interest in food, Krittathiranon invited them to his house to show them how he cooked Thai dishes.

The Adelmans later found out that Krittathiranon owned a top-rated culinary school in Thailand. After coming back to the United States, they contacted Krittathiranon about opening a restaurant in Oberlin. Krittathiranon was so excited by the idea that he ended up moving to Oberlin to join the project as the restaurant’s chef.

ThiNi Thai brands itself as being completely authentic. According to Krittathiranon and Matt, they import 90 percent of their ingredients from Thailand, as well as the restaurant’s plates, spoons, cups, and charcoal for grilling.

“Everything, every element of your experience, we want to be like it is when we are with Aon in Chiang Mai,” Matt said.

Krittathiranon is also dedicated to only serving authentic Thai food, with nothing that is “Americanized.”

“My dream and my passion [is] to share the Thai food and show my food to the world,” Krittathiranon said.

The restaurant also provides a unique atmosphere for dining. Colorful lanterns hang from the ceiling and the walls are painted red and blue. The Adelman brothers even built their own stools and tables to imitate the style of Thai restaurants.

While the brothers hope to open ThiNi Thai for lunch and take-out in the future, they are currently focused on making customers’ in-house dinner experience memorable.

“We want to take care of our customers the best we can, all of them, and eventually we’ll be able to take care of our customers who want to have carry-out,” Matt said. “But, for right now, the most important thing is Aon’s vision, and that is to be able to experience a Thai experience.”

Students at the bar of Oberlin’s new Thai restaurant. Photo by Chris Schmucki, Photo Editor
Colorful lanterns and string lights adorn the dining area at ThiNi Thai. Photo by Chris Schmucki, Photo Editor