In 2017, Jenny Rojanasthien toured the space on WenatcheeAvenue behind the Chamber of Commerce for a work project, but it immediatelystruck her as the perfect spot for someone else: herself and her husband Top.
“I called my husband on the spot and said I found ourrestaurant,” says Jenny.
“And I said, ‘We already have a restaurant,’” said Top.
Top Rojanasthein grew up in Wenatchee; his mother opened TheThai Restaurant on the corner of Mission and Miller Street in 1991. He andJenny bought the restaurant from his parents in 2015, and they’d been runningit ever since.
But in the space that eventually would become Atlas Fare, Jennysaw that the potential the building space had to be something more: arestaurant that would allow Top to show off his skills as an executive chef, aboveand beyond just serving Thai food.
“Cooking is my career,” said Top. “I don’t want to be peggedas just a cook of Asian food.”
On January 1 2020, Atlas Fare opened its doors, a full 18months after construction began to turn the space into the modern, open conceptdesign Jenny envisioned it could be. Not only is the cuisine international,with influences from every corner of the globe, the design incorporates thatsame theme. There’s an entire wall of pictures from international destinations Jennyand Top have traveled to – they took many of the pictures themselves – and theycommissioned the art over the fireplace to include actual stamps from theirpassports.
“An atlas is a collection of maps. I like to think of ourrestaurant as a collection of dishes from our travels,” says Jenny.
Top grew up in the Wenatchee area. After high school, heworked in Bellingham and Seattle, spent some time managing a restaurant inBangkok and got a degree in global studies from the University of Washington. Eventually– after a decade away – he returned to Wenatchee to manage his parents’restaurant.
Jenny, originally from the Portland/Vancouver area, moved toWenatchee 11 years ago to be the general manager at Target. Four nights a week,she found herself in the Thai Restaurant, where she met and fell in love withTop.
Five years ago, Top and Jenny bought the Thai Restaurantfrom his parents. Thanks to the stellar staff there, they both say, they wereable to pursue their dream of opening a second, internationally-inspiredrestaurant: Atlas Fare.
“We have a great team at the Thai Restaurant. That lets usexpand our creative pursuits,” said Jenny. “We rebuilt the space for Atlas Farefrom the ground up. Every square foot had a lot of thought put into it.”
They both have cited the amount of support they’ve receivedlocally from family and friends – especially those who had eaten dinner attheir house and knew Top’s specialties expanded beyond what you could order atThe Thai Restaurant.
“In every dish,there’s something we’ve borrowed from our travels,” says Top. “The menu isinspired by things I ate growing up or that I had while traveling.”
Atlas Fare is a slick, modern space with a lot of light anda great downtown location, walkable from Numerica Performing Arts Center andlocal shops and wine tasting rooms.
Their menu includes seafood dishes, a good old Americanstyle burger, truffle fries, and a number of international cuisines that arefamiliar to travelers and exciting options for those who want to enjoy avariety of cuisines.
“We want Atlas Fare to be a place you can come both for aspecial occasion and for a drink after work,” said Jenny. “We have somethingfor everyone.”
The restaurant has a full separate bar, with drink optionsinspired both from Top’s travels and his extensive experience as a bartender.Their wine list, says Jenny, is carefully curated to balance the wine optionsaround them.
“We’re part of a wine corridor here, with Crayelle Cellarsand Horan Estates below us and the Chamber’s tasting room next door,” saysJenny. “We wanted to complement their offerings by offering somethingdifferent, so our wine list is 60 percent international wines.”
This seemed like a great contrast to the Thai Restaurant aswell, says Top, which primarily serves local wines.
Jenny and Top are excited to be part of the community, bothas business owners and community members.
“We’re proud to be local employers, with 13 employees at theThai Restaurant and 18 at Atlas Fare. We’re excited to help our team grow,”says Jenny.
“We did this ourselves, with no outside investors. We’rehusband and wife business partners, and this is our dream.”
Atlas Fare is located at 137 North Wenatchee Avenue. They’reopen for lunch from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. They’re open for dinnerfrom 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Dishesare clearly marked as being naturally gluten free, available to adapt to begluten free, or vegetarian. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated withadvanced notice.
Reservations are highly recommended. Call (509) 300 0303 tomake a reservation or visit atlasfare.comfor more information.