Lemongrass bistro brings taste of Thailand to downtown Macon

Macon’s menu of downtown eateries expands today when Lemongrass, a Thai bistro, opens for lunch.

The restaurant is in the former Bert’s location on Cherry Street, which closed November 2007. Aside from outdoor dining tables, Lemongrass will bear little resemblance to the previous tenant after a major overhaul that included the addition of a food bar.

Gary Schechterle, a partner in the venture, described Lemongrass as “very New York.”

“We wanted it to be a really different, nice place,” he said.

Chef and partner Tom Sarrtsud, who owns the Ladda Thai restaurant in Warner Robins, said food will be prepared to order.

“We get everything fresh and cook it. We don’t pre-cook,” Sarrtsud said.

The restaurant will serve lunch Mondays-Fridays, and stay open for dinner Wednesdays-Saturdays. It will eventually feature a full bar and make a great late-night stop, especially for patrons of Theatre Macon, the restaurant’s landlord, Schechterle said.

“We want to support them. It’s great for the theater patrons to have some place to eat, They can stop in and talk about the play.”

Lemongrass will fill two voids downtown, said Schechterle, who owns M Food & Culture magazine.

“A Thai restaurant fills a void. Having something open late at night for food fills a void.”

Diners unfamiliar with Thai cuisine might want to try the restaurant’s tapas, which offer appetizer servings of several dishes.

“Some people don’t feel comfortable about trying something different,” Sarttsud said. “People can try out what we have.”

The interior of Lemongrass was designed to be “very calming,” Schechterle said.

The restaurant used recycled materials during the renovation and in the decor, and is going with recycled and eco-friendly dining materials, planning to eventually use biodegradable cornstarch glasses, he said.

“We’re trying to get in the green movement,” Schechterle said.

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.