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Business Notes: Former Hanover Thai Restaurant to Reopen in Lebanon



Valley News Business Writer
Sunday, April 29, 2018

Former Hanover restaurant Thai Orchid has found a new home — in Lebanon.

Owner-chef Pim Pinitmontri and her husband, Robert Lamprey, are reopening the Thai cuisine restaurant, which they closed in Hanover last summer citing the town’s declining retail business and parking problems, at 70 Hanover Street in Lebanon in the location formerly occupied by Upper Valley Underground Crossfit.

Now renamed Pim’s Thai Orchid, Lamprey said, the restaurant is targeting a “soft opening” in May and will feature many new menu ideas that Pinitmontri picked up during an extended winter trip back to her native Thailand, where she studied with a leading Thai chef and toured Bangkok’s restaurants.

“We looked at a lot of places but this was the best location available,” Lamprey said, explaining the space in front of the building provides “ample parking” and the well-traveled corridor is strategically located near downtown Lebanon, the municipal parking lot and Exit 18 on Interstate 89.

Pim’s Thai Orchid will seat 48 compared to 80 at the former Hanover location. “That’s more manageable, we’ll need less help, which will keep costs down,” he said, “and we’ll have take-out and delivery because the restaurant business is moving in that direction.”

Lamprey described the new menu as “traditional Thai meets the New World,” and will feature infusions from Vietnamese, Chinese and Malaysian cuisine.

As it turns out, Pim’s Thai Orchid will be leasing space in a building owned by Sommay Vorachak, the former owner of Mai Thai Cuisine in Hanover, which Pinitmontri and Lamprey took over five years ago and renamed Thai Orchid.

Mascoma Bank to Auction Former Claremont Ford Lincoln Property

In another setback for former Upper Valley auto dealer Arrien Schiltkamp, Mascoma Bank has foreclosed on his defunct Claremont Ford Lincoln dealership property and will put it up for auction next month.

Schiltkamp is the former owner of Claremont Ford, which shut down in 2016 after state financial regulators found that the auto dealer failed to pay off loans on customers’ trade-in vehicles. Since then the building and lot on Washington Street have been vacant.

The bank is scheduled to auction on May two adjacent lots, 364 Washington St. and 366 Washington St., that were secured by a note of $975,000, according to mortgage agreements entered into in 2014 between Mascoma and entities controlled by Schiltkamp.

The two lots have a combined appraisal of $979,700, according to city assessment records. They were purchased for a combined $1,054,000 in 2001, according to the records.

The upcoming auction follows a public auction last fall by Mascoma Bank of a former residence owned Schiltkamp in Etna. Mascoma had initiated a foreclosure auction on the Etna property because Schiltkamp was in default on a $2 million loan secured by the property.

Schiltkamp has blamed his financial difficulties on the financial collapse of automotive dealerships — he also owned a Suzuki dealership in Manchester — which set off a series of events that led to him filing for personal bankruptcy in 2016.

Grocery Delivery Service Instacart Debuts in Upper Valley

Slowly, digital economy services that people take for granted in urban areas are making their way to the Upper Valley.

First, it was the hire-a-ride-via-smartphone service Uber last year. Now, it’s gotta-run-some-errands trip saver Instacart.

Instacart, the on-demand groceries delivery service, has launched service in select towns in the Upper Valley, making it possible to have purchases from BJ’s Wholesale Club, Price Chopper, Shaw’s and CVS delivered directly to peoples door.

The San Francisco-based company, which has already been been introduced in such places as Concord, Manchester and Burlington, said it has added Claremont, Enfield, Etna, Hanover, Lebanon, Meriden, Newport, Plainfield and West Lebanon to its service area as of April 19.

Customers log into Instacart’s website or via the mobile app and order items they want from a particular store. Then Instacart “shoppers” — they are identified by the bright green t-shirts they wear — are dispatched to purchase the items on the customer’s behalf and bring them to his or her door.

Walker Dieckmann, the regional general manager for Instacart, said that more than 100 shoppers have already signed on and most orders can be delivered in under two hours. Instacart estimates its current Upper Valley service area encompasses 21,000 households.

Customers are not charged a delivery fee if the order exceeds $35 and the customer pays for an annual Instascart Express membership. Delivery fees can go up during busy delivery periods. All shopping orders must exceed $10.

Instacart’s shoppers, who are regarded as independent contractors and are not paid an hourly wage, are compensated through a formula that includes payment for each delivery, if delivering only, and payment for each delivery plus payment for each item if delivering and shopping.

News items of interest to the local business community are published in the Business & Money section of the Sunday Valley News. Submissions may be sent by email to: biznotes@vnews.com (high-resolution photographs may be attached in .jpg format). Items are edited for clarity and space.