Uncle Chai Thailand Street Food Coming to Cass St.

Inspired by the affordable and delectable dishes of Thailand street food, Uncle Chai will be opening in February
Cass Street Dunaway Building
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San Diego Thai food restauranteur Chai Butrlakorn plans to open up a new street-food-inspired restaurant in the Dunaway Building at 4508 Cass Street. 

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Uncle Chai Thailand Street Food will be Butrlakorn’s newest project since returning to the U.S. from a two-year stint in his home country of Thailand, where he became inspired to pursue this affordable and authentic street food restaurant model. 

“What you’ll see here is what you get in Thailand,” Butrlakorn told What Now San Diego. “In many Thai restaurants, you see bell pepper, and everything is curry, but we won’t be doing that. We’ll be serving what you see in Thailand street food stands.” 

Butrlakorn moved to the U.S. as a teenager in the ‘80s, and has been making Thai food ever since. Over the years, he has had seven different restaurants around California. Since he got in a car accident about four years ago, Butrlakorn took a break from work and moved back to Thailand for two years. 

“When I was there, my eyes opened to see what Thai food really is,” he said. “I want to bring food like that to my new restaurant Uncle Chai.”

Now, he is planning a menu around the street food of his hometown, including dishes like phat kaphrao and sticky rice.

The new space in the Dunaway building will open to the public soon, sometime during February 2021. Anthony Acosta and Rick Wu closed the deal between Uncle Chai and the landlords of the building, via the brokerage Duhs Commercial.

Olivia Langen

Olivia Langen is a food and culture journalist who has written her way around the world. After traveling from Moscow to Mumbai and Tokyo to Taipei, she has found her way back to sunny Southern California. There, she spends her free time reading fiction, learning languages, and playing music.
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