Our History

At Atchana's Homegrown Thai, the rich tapestry of Thai history finds its vibrant expression in every dish we serve. Our restaurant is a culinary journey through the ages, inspired by the diverse cultural influences that have shaped Thailand's distinctive cuisine. From the royal courts of Ayutthaya to the bustling street markets of Bangkok, our menu is a testament to the enduring legacy of Thai gastronomy. Atchana's Homegrown Thai invites you to savor the flavors of Thailand's past and present, where tradition and innovation come together to create an unforgettable dining experience.


Red Bull

| Crab Eating Macaques | Cave Rescue | Thai Street Food

Temple Blessing

| Repurposed Lumber | Aquariums | New Year's

Red Bull Started in Thailand

The reason Atchana’s has these little bottles of Red Bull in a frame is to showcase how the world’s best selling energy drink originally came from Thailand. The formula, which is still sold in Thailand in these bottles at much higher strength than the version we are used to, was invented in the 1970’s to help keep workers and truck drivers awake. You can read more about it here!

In Thailand, bullfighting is done between bulls. No bullfighter in sight. This is where the logo for Red Bull came from: two bulls squaring off in a bullfight. The “Red” in Red Bull refers to the color of the bull, as compared to a black or brown colored bull. You can see examples of Thai bullfighting on the photos in our hallway and bathroom.

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The Crab Eating Macaques of Lopburi

These little guys may look harmless, but they have taken over the Thai village of Lopburi. A former capital of ancient Siam, Lopburi is the site of temples that held the little critters sacred. Recently, however, they have spread out from the temples to the whole area and are wreaking havoc with local businesses and visitors. Curious and hungry, they have no fear of humans. If you visit Lopburi, watch out for the Macaques! We’ve tucked this little guy in our stairway nook to remind people: be aware. Read more here!

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The Soccer Team Cave Rescue

On June 23, 2018, twelve young soccer players and their coach were trapped by rising flood waters inside a cave in Northern Thailand. The whole world was riveted by the rescue effort, and Ron Howard even made a movie about it. On the walls here you can see the original movie poster, plus a photo of the mouth of the cave under water (that’s where the boys were trapped), plus a mural painted by Thailand’s most famous artist depicting many of the people who contributed to the effort to save the boys, including two Thai Navel SEALs who lost their lives in the attempt. More information here!

And in case you noticed the OTHER SIDE of our restroom door and wondered, “Why does it look like a takeout window?” Well, that’s because it was the actual façade of our takeout window during the full year Atchana’s was closed to the public due to COVID. We’ve repurposed it here to always remind us of those days we all went through and came out the other side.

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Thai Street Food

The large triptych photo on the wall was printed on aluminum by our friends at Frameworks. It features a well-known street food stall in Bangkok’s Chinatown neighborhood known as Jek Pui Curry that has been in operation for over 70 years. We put this photo up when we opened Atchana’s because it looked cool, not realizing the unassuming spot would soon be featured in the New York Times Travel section and on the first episode of the NETFLIX show, Street Food. Now, whenever we visit Thailand, we make a pilgrimage to the spot and take photos of ourselves there (which you can see in the small frames below the large ones.) More information here!

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Thai Temple Blessing

This photo shows Atchana’s husband Steve and son Brandon during a “Buat” (บวช) ceremony at the family temple in Nakhon Nayok north of Bangkok. This was done to honor Atchana’s mother, Umpun, who had passed. Umpun was a key member of the Thai community in South Florida. Often, when a loved one passes in Thailand, family members will honor them by temporarily becoming monks in the Buat ceremony.

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Repurposed Lumber Used to Build Atchana’s

Atchana’s was built out using a very special kind of wood. Our walls and many of our tables are constructed of Green Heart, which grows in Guyana and Suriname in South America. This is one of the hardest and most durable woods in the world, and it is especially suitable for use in marine environments. Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, was clad in Green Heart. The Green Heart on our walls spent decades as pilings sunken into Biscayne Bay to guide boats to and from harbor. You can see some of the sea-water weathering on many of the pieces, especially around the fish tank. The photo up above our front closet shows the local lumber mill in the Redlands south of Miami where the pilings were cut into boards that we brought here and fashioned into Atchana’s. Master carpenter Duffy Samuels oversaw construction. You can read more about greenheart here!

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Atchana’s Incredible Aquariums

Our friend Rick Ruiz at AquariumArt has created and installed both of Atchana’s magnificent fish tanks. During design, we planned the whole dining room around the tank, building a wall specifically to feature it. The tank upstairs features two tree trunks exhumed from the muddy bottom of the Peace River in Central Florida and transported to our location. We brought them upstairs then constructed the custom-made tank around them. Find out more about Aquarium Art!

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New Year’s Thai Style

In Thailand, some dates are still noted in the Buddhist Calendar tradition, which means 2024 is the year 2567. Why the difference? Because the Buddhist calendar measures years from the date of the Buddha’s death, or Parinirvana. And in Thailand that traditional calendar measures the years astrologically, making April the beginning of the year and thus the date to celebrate Songkran. This is one of the most fun things you can do in life. If at all possible, go to Thailand to celebrate the New Year in April. You will not regret it. Millions of Thais and visitors to Thailand alike turn the entire country into a giant water festival, and everybody gets into the action, even little kids, which is what the photo at our entrance door shows.

Have you noticed the unique coasters we use at Atchana’s? They are copies of Atchana’s actual birth certificate from Thailand. The year of birth is 2509 in the Buddhist calendar.

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