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Spicier than Thai: New cuisine coming to Flowery Branch
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Commercial property on Main Street in Flowery Branch. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, June 2: A lease for a new Laotian restaurant was approved Thursday, June 2, by the Flowery Branch City Council.

Janny Xayavongsa plans to bring authentic Laotian food to her hometown of Flowery Branch. 

4 Elephants Catering opened in Cleveland about six months ago, and Flowery Branch City Council is set to vote on the restaurant’s lease agreement on Thursday, June 2, to clear the way for a move to 5519 Main St. The restaurant plans to have both dine-in and catering services. 

“Laotian food is just like Thai and Vietnamese food,” said Xayavongsa, who operates the business with her three sisters and parents. “Ours is just more full of flavor and spicier.” 

They make meals that the family grew up eating, she said. 

This will be the second restaurant with plans to open in downtown Flowery Branch soon, following El Sabor Costeno Taqueria, which was approved by city council on May 17. 

“This will be No. 2, and I am just tickled,” said Renee Carden, downtown event coordinator for Flowery Branch. 

The city owns the retail space in the building that stretches from Railroad Avenue to Church Street. The lease for the 1,347-square-foot space would be for seven years, according to the lease agreement. 

The lease includes an allowance of up to $67,350 for tenant improvements to the property, the lease agreement states. The building is unfinished inside with a gravel sidewalk outside. 

There are two more units to fill, Carden said, and things are “moving and shaking,” lately. 

“It is exciting, it is really exciting. I’m ready for all of them to get full.”

Xayavongsa and her three sisters grew up in Flowery Branch, and together they are the titular “4 Elephants.” Each has a matching elephant tattoo based on the company logo as well, Xayavongsa said. 

Her sisters and mother all contribute to the business. 

Their menu includes Laotian dishes such as laab, a meat salad, and Khao Piek Sen, a traditional noodle soup, as well as familiar southeast Asian options such as pad thai, pho and fried rice. 

“It’s Laotian street food; I call it ‘comfort food for Asians,’” Xayavongsa said. 

Xayavongsa said they hope to open up in the next six months.