The Bookhouse & Coffee Shop first opened its doors to the public back in September 2009 primarily as a bookstore and café. Business was very slow initially, says Thai owner Ratchanok Hluengsitong (Nok), and they had to adapt quickly to cater to their customers’ needs.
After a few months of trading, they realized that a key part of their business was missing, so they introduced a small selection of foods and snacks for customers to enjoy while browsing for reading material. The food sales proved to be very popular and the business took off in a big way. They gradually introduced more new food items until they had enough items to warrant a menu. The Bookhouse Restaurant was born.
Jeremy (Nok’s husband) then had a menu specially designed and printed, and although it was quite expensive, the resulting increase in business made it more than worthwhile.
A couple of years later they received a call from out of the blue to say that they had to vacate their premises because the land their business was on had been sold to developers; therefore they had to relocate. They then had to spend several months looking around Udon for suitable premises.
They were split between a town center location, keeping the business café-style, or finding a scenic location away from the hustle and bustle to make a new upmarket restaurant, with a pleasant view to attract local customers.
A short time later they stumbled upon an amazing site in an ideal location overlooking the very beautiful and scenic Nong Sim Lake. Not wanting to miss this amazing opportunity, they snapped it up and began converting it into their new lakeside restaurant.
They were up and running in no time and business was full steam ahead. Nok says that after just two months of trading, business had increased by a notable percentage. Their old location attracted mostly foreigners; however they are now attracting more local Thai customers. Nok says business is looking altogether positive and upbeat.
By the time this article is printed they should have their new menu ready, introducing a wide variety of new Western food items. They will also be doubling their Thai Food selection, as well as introducing a wine and cocktail drinks list.
Their new cake display cabinet is proving to be very popular with its vast selection of tempting treats, and many customers are popping in solely to buy a cake or dessert to take away.
From Double Chocolate Fudge Cakes, Tiramisu, Cheesecakes and White Chocolate Cheesecakes to the humble Apple & Cinnamon Pie, Summer Pudding and Cookies, there is something scrumptious to appeal to all tastes.
They also have special food days including Mexican Wednesday, Indian Curries, and Sunday Roasts with a complimentary drink as well as regular “Daily Specials”.
Nok says her goal is to create a pleasant environment with good food and drink, aimed at a target audience of friendly folks of all nationalities who appreciate the effort they make to ensure every visit is pleasurable and satisfying.
Everyone we speak to agrees that Nok is certainly living up to her word!