Fai Thai Restaurant Now Closed

Fai Thai Restaurant Now Closed

July, 10, 2011, by Jedidiah

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We have been informed that, effective immediately, the newest Empire Eats restaurant, Fai Thai which open in March on Moore Square, is closed. We were fans of the new restaurant and are sad to hear that it has closed so quickly. We are trying to get more information and have reached out to Empire on the closing and future of the space. We will keep you updated as we hear more. 

If they do rebrand in the future, we'd still love an Indian restaurant in Downtown although Mantra Indian Cuisine looks to be opening over around Glenwood South soon.

In a twitter post, Fai Thai announced that the space will be used for private events and catering.

K̄hxbkhuṇ khuṇ, thank you in Thai. Fai Thai is closed. To meet catering demand, the space will be used for private parties & special dinners

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Restaurants, Other posts by Jedidiah.


Empire EatsFai Thai


  • John
    07/10 08:04 PM

    I went one time and it was okay.  We waited forever for our food and the staff was really aloof about the whole thing. I am not going to miss it at all.

  • Brian
    07/10 08:10 PM

    I thought it was quite good, and very reasonably priced.  Sad times.  It is pretty bizarre, though.  Surely Hatem has the business sense and capital to ride through a restaurant launch?

  • wrinkleintherug
    07/10 08:34 PM

    a shame that you guys didn’t like the food/service/cocktails at Fai Thai or that you don’t think greg hatem a good businessman.  where do you eat and who does better at making restaurants in Raleigh on the whole?

  • HRH
    07/10 09:41 PM

    So sad… Ate there a lot and loved their pad Thai

  • eb
    07/10 09:56 PM

    I love the rest of the restaurants in the group but we went once to Fai Thai and didn’t care for the food at all.

  • RT
    07/10 10:01 PM

    word has it that Empire had a lot of requests for private dining and catering. They thought they could use that space just for that. Though Fai Thai was wonderful…they probably figured that they could profit more off of private dining. I guess Fai Thai was just too good for this world.

  • John
    07/10 10:01 PM

    My comments were not a sweeping condemnation of Tatem or his business accumen. They simply were my comments from my personal experience from this one restaurant.  Had Fai Thai given me something to pine for after my first visit, I suppose I’d be singing a different tune.  But, as circumstances have it, I didn’t receive something that I’d later miss.

  • Jeff
    07/10 10:29 PM

    I think it’s time for Raleigh businessmen to realize there are too many restaurants in the area already.  The area, and the economy cannot support so many restaurants, no matter how good they are.

  • tc
    07/10 11:50 PM

    man - i’m disappointed.  We’ve been to Fai Thai several times and always found the food great.  In fact, it was in our top three faves in downtown.  We’ll miss it…

  • C
    07/11 09:00 AM

    Catering ? That seems odd in the middle of a bar/restaurant area. Sad to see it go.

  • JT
    07/11 09:10 AM

    The drinks at Fai Thai were even better than Foundation and the food was definitely a good take on Thai, and the pad thai was great.  I just need to find the dried shrimp to make my own.  Asian Market perhaps?

  • skillet
    07/11 09:23 AM

    We had, hands down, the worst dining experience there. Absolute train wreck. We tried our best to be cool about it but ended up storming out. We went to see a band at the Pour House and FT’s manager walked in. I thought he was off the clock and was there to knock me out, but he handed me a complete refund for our 8 top, which was gratefully accepted and with apologies all around. I know a few other folks who’ve had to have their entire meals comp’d because of the service so I would think catering might be a good move for them as the food was always pretty good.

  • gspot
    07/11 09:52 AM

    please get more information on this because i can’t wait to read yet ANOTHER article from NR about this utterly insignificant restaurant

  • brc
    07/11 10:38 AM

    The food was just okay, went once and did not put it into my lunch rotation.  I needed much more flavor for Thai food.

  • Jon
    07/11 10:47 AM

    I never went and tried it because I fell in love with David’s Dumpling and Noodle.

  • at
    07/11 11:55 AM

    not catering for Fai Thai.. catering for Empire. Empire is forever getting requests for very large parties..so they decided to use that space for private dining.
    gspot—if you don’t give a f*** then why even read this or post on it. grow up

  • Artie
    07/11 12:03 PM

    It’s a shame.  They were doing some very good fish dishes there.  I wonder what D’Auvrey will do next?

  • Billy
    07/11 12:06 PM

    I imagine David Mao is pretty happy right now.  Not at the misfortune of the people who ran Fai Thai, but that he is out on his own and not having to worry about the landlord/biz partner pulling the plug on his business at any moment.  I really enjoy David’s too.  If only they would choose a different Sirius station; the Eurodisco seems like it must appeal to 1% of the people eating there.

  • Wowwie
    07/11 01:48 PM

    I am the fan of the Eurodisco at David’s.

  • hackles10
    07/11 03:40 PM

    The catering rationale sounds like b/s to me.  Hatem owns probably 20 other empty buildings/spaces around that area that could be easily converted into banquet/catering space.  This place has a good location between two other bars, and on a park thats about to be renovated.  It would be disappointing for the city of raleigh if they use this for “catering” and don’t open up or lease to someone else who is willing to open up a restaurant.  Also, the closing w/in 4 months is strange too.  Considering Hatem’s recent troubles with Ed Mitchell, this sounds more like business conflict to me as opposed to the desire to have catering space.

  • Art
    07/11 05:18 PM

    The food was GREAT here.  Will be missed.

  • Marky Mark
    07/11 07:17 PM

    @hackles10, that is what I was thinking too. Empire owns lots of sites. I’m pretty sure they could find one that would have sufficed just as well for private events or catering without shutting down an existing restaurant.

  • arthurb3
    07/12 03:37 AM

    I had the same experience. The food was just ok. I rather go to one of the mom and pop Thai resturants for more authentic food.

  • Mike
    07/12 07:54 AM

    I’ll agree gspot!  NR just loves to hear itself drone on and on about this place.

  • joolietoo
    07/12 03:35 PM

    We just had lunch there for the first time on Friday - there were no more than 7-8 tables during prime lunch time and if that was typical, that certainly is not enough business to support their overhead.

  • Billy
    07/12 04:41 PM

    The catering concept sounds bogus until you consider the number of weddings and events that happen at Caffe Luna.  But launching a restaurant for only 3 months is a failure not matter how you view it.

  • hackles10
    07/12 05:48 PM

    @Billy - I agree there is a market for catering, Luna is a great example…they kill it with weddings and other events. I just think shutting down a restaurant you just invested some serious cash in to re-purpose the concept 3 or 4 months after opening, and turning it into a catering venue, when you own at least a dozen other similar empty spaces within a 5 block radius smells fishy!

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