Empire Eats’ new Restaurant Fai Thai to Replace Duck and Dumpling

Empire Eats’ new Restaurant Fai Thai to Replace Duck and Dumpling

February, 16, 2011, by Jedidiah

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We lost one of downtown's better restaurants, Duck and Dumpling, at the end of 2010, but Greg Hatem, owner of Empire Properties and Empire Eats said he wouldn't waste much time replacing it with a restaurant that would be much more relevant to the restaurant culture in the area. We were hoping for Indian but have learned that it is planned to be a "coconut fired" Thai restaurant called Fai Thai.

This will be a great addition to downtown as the styrofoam plated Champa closed a few years ago (now Capital Club 16), and Wild Ginger is hit or miss on Davie Street (and is currently under renovation). Currently, the other Thai restaurants closest to the downtown grid are Thaiphoon on Glenwood, Shaba Shabu on Wake Forest, Sushi Thai and Sawasdee on Capital.

We forgot to mention that William D'Auvray, previously the chef at Fins and bu•ku will serve as chef for the new restaurant. Yum!

See the The Duck & Dumpling {categories show="257|236|256|96" show_group="9" limit="1"}{category_name}{/categories} page.

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Empire EatsFai ThaiDuck and Dumpling


  • EE Welch
    02/16 11:57 PM

    Let’s not forget Spize Cafe! That place has some great dishes!

  • RaleighRob
    02/17 09:26 AM

    ^I think Spize is more Vietnamese…though I agree they are one of the best.  I hate that they only do lunch.

    I will look forward to trying Fai Thai when they open.  Though they will have a uphill battle to compete with Thaiphoon.  I’m still smiling about the meal I had there last night.  ;-)

  • hackles10
    02/17 10:35 AM

    Great news! 

    Also wondering what Empire is going to do with the space on Hargett & Salisbury.  Its been covered with brown paper for months now.

  • Jill
    02/17 01:56 PM

    Sounds like a great addition! I (unfortunately) never got to try Duck and Dumpling, but I’ll definitely be sure to try Fai Thai - sounds like a great move for Empire Eats.

  • HeffRaleigh
    02/17 02:49 PM

    Spize is going to start staying open until 9:00 according to a sign in their window.

    Looking forward to trying Fai Thai.

  • Carver
    02/17 03:10 PM


  • Crumpy
    02/17 03:19 PM

    Sawasdee is my fav but i’m looking forward to good Thai in downtown.

  • Jeff
    02/17 03:48 PM

    Any idea when its opening?

  • hackles10
    02/17 03:50 PM

    Should be soon.  Same owner, so other than changing the decor, finishing up the menu, and training any new staff that they have, it shouldnt take too long to upfit.

  • netposer
    02/17 03:59 PM

    Maybe this place will give you more than a half scoop of rice?

  • Eileen
    02/17 06:22 PM

    Lights were on last night and I could see in about a foot above the paper on the windows…lots of colorful decor - fancy paper lanterns and upside down umbrellas.
    Looks pretty fun and swank.  Would imagine it will open within a week or two.

  • King D-Bag
    02/17 08:58 PM

    I have never seen a fancy paper lantern.

  • Steve
    02/18 12:28 AM

    I really like Thai House on Wake Forest Rd and Hardimont.  I think it is by far the best Thai!

  • Little Timmy
    02/18 08:31 AM

    I just bought this really great Thai cookbook—101 Ways to Wok Your Dog [rimshot].

  • rt
    02/18 10:55 AM

    Looking forward to trying Fai Thai.  Should be a great addition.

    Don’t forget my favorite Thai restaurant in the area (and no further away from downtown than Sawasdee) - Thai House Cuisine.  http://www.thaihouse-cuisine.com/

    02/18 01:40 PM

    Looking forward to trying Fai Thai.

    Speaking of Spize, their baguette sandwiches are freakin awesome.

  • Ben
    02/18 04:32 PM

    Good news, Triangle Food Guy is reporting that William D’Auvray, former chef at Fins and then at Bu.Ku, will be the chef at Fai Thai.

  • C
    02/19 06:46 PM

    NICE, can’t wait to try it !

  • TheNoseKnows
    02/22 05:48 PM

    Fai Thai will be awesome, no doubt. 
    i heard Boyle was staying..guess we’ll find out!

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