A couple who set up Thai takeaway in lockdown to open a restaurant in a former restaurant and bar in Stafford


A couple who launched a Thai catering service during lockdown have found it has gone so well they are now considering opening their own restaurant. Andrew Higginson and his Thai wife Onuma started Arroy Thai in Stafford because they wanted to serve authentic Thai food in Staffordshire.

The couple, who met in Thailand and live in the city, are settled in their first sit-down restaurant in Salter Street, Stafford. It will be based in the former Bankhouse Diner & Bar venue. The restaurant will serve light meals to bring a unique service to the people of Stafford, the couple say.

Andrew, who works in construction, said: “The idea was born out of lockdown. My wife is from Thailand and loves to cook. The name of the service, Arroy, literally means ‘Delicious’ in Thai. We opened a small takeaway on Cannock Road and had great reviews.

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“My wife cooks and I take care of the business side. We launched our service during the lockdown, which was a success. We are looking for a more authentic Thai cooking feel. It’s more the ‘country side’ of Thai cuisine., in that it is more casual.

“We absolutely want something more original. The food is completely authentic and we’re going to offer lots of flavors that will give people a choice of something other than a sandwich or a burger. There’s no lots of options for lunch, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Dishes currently offered by the couple include massaman curry, pad thai noodles and sticky rice. They aim to open the restaurant by the end of April.

Andrew added: “We are looking to open the cafe by the end of April but we don’t want to rush anything. The building in Salter Street is very beautiful with very high ceilings inside and it’s a lovely space .

“I’m really excited. There are tough times at the moment but we have to keep a positive attitude. We want to fill the city again; for people who are looking for something a little different.

The Old Bankhouse Diner & Bar in Stafford.

“We’ve never done this before and we’re really excited to continue. We really want this to work. It was always the plan to move to a suitable place to sit, we had thought about that. I think it’s is all about offering this different option to Stafford customers.”

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