Generations in the making, Frisco’s new Summit Thai restaurant serves up flavorful cuisine
After opening in early April, a multigenerational family-run business is dishing out authentic Thai food. Its menu includes staple offerings along with less common items.
Sour. Sweet. Spicy. Salty.
Summit Thai in Frisco weaves these flavors together to offer patrons an authentic culinary experience that brings the tastes of southeast Asia to Summit County. And it does so with a love for food that’s been passed down through generations.
The multigenerational family-run business, which opened April 5, is “a dream come true” for co-owner Lance Traylor, who runs the restaurant alongside members of his extended family.
“As a lover of Thai food, it’s something I’ve grown to enjoy and really have some pride in,” Traylor said.
The restaurant, located at 842 N. Summit Blvd., serves staple foods from pad thai to stir fry. But it also dabbles in lesser known Thai fare, such as larb gai salad — a modern spin on a traditional hand roll that is usually stuffed with ground chicken, toasted rice and vegetables.
The family’s affinity for the restaurant industry — and love for food — has been generations in the making. Ekawat Sunti,, the cousin of Traylor’s wife, said it began when his uncle first immigrated from Thailand to the United States in the 1960s.
“Uncle Benny,” as the family calls him, moved to Seattle when the city had only two skyscrapers, according to Traylor. He opened a restaurant, Bahn Thai, in the mid-1980s just blocks from the iconic Space Needle.
Bahn Thai remains today as a popular Thai food destination in the city, and it’s where Sunti, as a child, began working for his uncle. From dishwasher to busser, server and eventually manager, Sunti rose through the ranks of his uncle’s business. As his experience grew, so did his dream of opening his own restaurant.
That dream became a reality roughly a decade ago when Sunti opened Simply Thai in Windsor, a Front Range town east of Fort Collins. Sunti said he went on to open several more Thai restaurants across the state, including in Longmont, Loveland and Steamboat Springs.
“For me, that’s what I’ll always know what to do,” Sunti said. “I grew up with the family, with the kitchen, with the staff.”
Near the end of 2018, Traylor said he became involved with Sunti’s family business after meeting his wife in Seattle. In 2019, they moved to Arkansas while Traylor’s sister-in-law moved to Oregon.
Though miles apart, the extended family members found the same calling, “slinging Thai food out of the windows of food trucks,” Traylor said.
But they knew they wanted their own, more permanent space. Enamored with Colorado, Traylor and his extended family eventually found their Frisco location with help from Sunti in late 2022. They had just months to prepare for their grand opening in April — a feat that would have been a whirlwind for some but, thanks to Sunti’s entrepreneurial experience, it “was no problem” for the family, Traylor said.
The restaurant’s initial days were slow, Traylor said. But a positive post on the well-trafficked Summit County Facebook group One Man’s Junk, an online community forum where a review can potentially make or break a business’ local appeal, lead the restaurant to experience a surge in popularity.
In the weeks since, Traylor said the restaurant has been non-stop busy, adding that he’s “ecstatic” and “grateful” to the community.
“It’s crazy that the word of mouth got around that fast,” Traylor said.
For him, being part of a family-run venture “is nice because we have those bonds.”
Sunti said the restaurant industry can bring long hours and hard work, but having family nearby helps them lean on one another. And through their love of Thai food, the family is eager to expand pallets and deliver unforgettable flavor experiences.
“I love the herbs, the spice and the flavor,” Sunti said. “You never get bored.”
Summit Thai is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Monday.
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