In October of 1983, Ravadi Quinn and her sister began preparing and serving the food of her native Thailand from the kitchen counter at the back of a drug store in the Uptown Shopping Center. Forty years later, that small, welcoming restaurant that started as a haven for the community has blossomed into a cultural center that attracts musicians and performers from around the world.

The Emerald of Siam, now under the ownership of Ravadi’s son Bill and daughter Dara, is celebrating forty years with a weekend of music, dance, poetry, and amazing food. There will be a special dinner buffet each evening and a chance to hear Dara jamming tunes with her family and friends to close out the celebration Saturday night.

When I asked Ravadi about this milestone, she said, “I believe the higher power assigned me to start the Emerald to share my love to the community through Thai food. I believe Dara and Bill were assigned to continue to share that love through music. I feel thankful for the love and support the community has given back to the Emerald over the last forty years.”

Join in the celebration of this Tri-Cities Treasure. Here’s the weekend lineup:

Friday October 20th

3:00 – Poetry and book giveaway by Ravadi Alima Quinn (read about her poetry here)

5:00 – Traditional Thai Dance 

5:45 – Nick Drummond (

6:45 – Traditional Thai Dance

7:15 – Nick Drummond (

9:00 – Whalien (

10:30 – Cockaphonix (

Saturday October 21st

12:00 – Three Rivers Saxtette

2:00 – Traditional Thai Dance

3:00 – Poetry and book giveaway by Ravadi Alima Quinn

5:00 – SIRSY (NY) (

9:00 – Midnight Snacks (the band)

10:30 – Family Jams & Guests

More at or the Emerald’s Facebook page.

Ted Miller has been part of the local performing arts scene for over 25 years. He currently serves on the board of the Washington State Community Theatre Association.