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Mon, Dec. 09

Need2Know: Thai Express opens at Gateway Mall food court; Depot Marketplace mural celebrates Prescott’s railroad history; Smooths Barbershop adds personal touch to mall

Thai Express co-owner Carlos Ramirez modifies the space where the former Chai’s Thai had been operating in the Prescott Gateway Mall Food Court. The restaurant had been expected to open the weekend if Nov. 9 and 10. (Doug Cook/Courier)

Thai Express co-owner Carlos Ramirez modifies the space where the former Chai’s Thai had been operating in the Prescott Gateway Mall Food Court. The restaurant had been expected to open the weekend if Nov. 9 and 10. (Doug Cook/Courier)

THAI EXPRESS OPENS AT GATEWAY MALL FOOD COURT

It’s official: Thai Express has replaced Chai’s Thai at the Prescott Gateway Mall Food Court.

The restaurant, which had been vacant since Thai Express relocated to Frontier Village over the summer and had previously been a Villa Pizza for years, stands next to That Salad Place and was scheduled to open Saturday, Nov. 9.

Co-owners Carlos Ramirez and June Punsoon, who’s the chef, have been working for the past few weeks to get the Thai Express up and running.

Punsoon, who is Thai, offers appetizers, salads, fried rice, stir fried noodles, rice plates, noodle soups, barbecue, Boba tea and waffles, among other tasty treats.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

MURAL PAINTED ON SOUTH SIDE OF SPROUTS AT DEPOT MARKETPLACE

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Artist Lila Gemellos of San Jose, California, briefly pauses for a photograph during her painting a new railroad-themed mural in the space between the Sprouts grocery store and AAA at the Depot Marketplace Nov. 5 in downtown Prescott. (Courtesy/Kimberly Marsh Photography)

A new mural on the south-side corner between the Sprouts grocery store and AAA at the Depot Marketplace, 100 E. Sheldon St. in Prescott, celebrates Prescott’s Western heritage, particularly the railroad, which used to travel through there.

Lila Gemellos, the mural’s artist who operates Gemellos Murals in San Jose, California, said this is her first out-of-state project. Her work on a similar project at Eastridge Mall in San Jose gave her an “original platform with creative place making.”

“I enjoy a sense of place, with subject matter that feels right and honest, and that nobody can disagree with,” she said. “I’m doing some of my best work out here.”

Dan Frederiksen, the real estate broker in charge of management at the Depot, said the mural improves “a tired corner” while serving as a spot where visitors can take selfies for social media sites.

“We wanted to create a nice area,” he added. “We want an Instagram space.”

Frederiksen said light seating, including some benches, will be incorporated into the spot as well.

“We know this will be a destination for the hotel [being built across from the Depot Marketplace on Montezuma Street],” he added.

SMOOTHS BARBERSHOP ADDS PERSONAL TOUCH TO MALL

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Hair stylists Virginia Tobin and Charles Phillips opened Smooths Barbershop in the middle of Prescott Gateway Mall in early October with the aim of providing more personalized service to their customers. (Doug Cook/Courier)

Smooths Barbershop, which opened Oct. 4 in the center of the Gateway Mall, gives its customers personalized hair care with veteran stylists Virginia Tobin and Charles Phillips.

Tobin, a 21-year licensed professional, and Phillips, a military veteran who has worked for 30-plus years as a barber, pride themselves on their service. They use only straight razors and offer such services as hot-towel shaves and skin fades.

“We take care of beards, too,” Tobin said. “You can get a neck shave with every cut. We get around the edges, too.”

With every haircut, customers receive a complementary soft drink or water. Paying customers can play pool while they wait, as a table sits in the middle of the shop, which was once a chain jewelry store.

“It’s a great gentlemen’s shop,” Tobin said. “We’d like to bring back the old-school barber feeling, and we’ve got games on [TV].”

For more information, call 928-232-1269.

To submit items for the Courier’s Need2Know, email editors@prescottaz.com; for legal advertisements, email ssialega@prescottaz.com.

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