No Thai! plans to relocate from South University Avenue to first-floor of student high-rise
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Co-owner Jeff Cho said customers often complain about long waits and too few seats at the popular restaurant — which has additional Ann Arbor locations in Kerrytown and The Courtyard Shops on Plymouth Road.
To solve the issue, Cho, along with business partners Brian Kim, Victor Kim and Noerung Hang, signed a lease last month to move No Thai! across the street.
The restaurant will relocate from its current location at 1317 S. University Ave. to a 1,600-square-foot space on the first-floor of Landmark — the under-construction student high-rise on the corner of South University and South Forest.
“We’ve outgrown our space on South University,” Cho said. “We’re looking to upgrade our restaurant and we're hoping to make this new restaurant at Landmark a little nicer than what we started with seven years ago.”
With the move, Cho said they plan to hire additional employees and double the restaurant’s seating area. He said construction should begin soon and they are hoping for a seamless transition to the new location this fall.
“We’re hoping that there’s going to be very minimal closing time,” he said. “We don’t see why we can’t stay open at the South University location until we are ready to open the other one.”
He said there are still a couple years left on the No Thai! lease at 1317 S. University Ave., and they are evaluating their options for that space.
Landmark, slated to open this fall, is a 14-story, 600-bed high-rise with room for about five retail spaces on the first floor.
Cho said the influx of students coming to the South University area with the opening of Landmark can only help No Thai!'s business, although he's not expecting a "huge boom."
"I think we’ll still remain busy and we’ll be able to better serve our customers with better seating and a more efficient layout," he said.
Colliers International’s Ann Arbor office, the company that brokered the deal with both No Thai! and 7-Eleven, continues to market the remaining retail spaces in the building.