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Pad Thai, Curry and Fried Rice to Go, Please

Route 1 may soon become the new home for a fast food Thai restaurant.

So how do you feel about drive-through Thai food? Unsure? Maybe that's because fast food Thai restaurants are relatively a foreign concept in the United States.

A quick Internet search yields several hits, mostly out on the West Coast, one even in Alaska and one in Florida.

Vannee Chaisuphatanakul wants to bring fast food Thai to Peabody. She will be before the City Council Thursday night for a special permit to operate a drive-through service restaurant at the former location of Dunkin' Donuts on Route 1 South.

The building at 108 Newbury St. has been empty since the fall of 2011 when the donut shop moved up the road to a new shopping plaza at 124 Newbury St.

According to the application Chaisuphatanakul filed with the city, she's looking to serve up authentic cuisine to hungry commuters that from 6 a.m. - midnight seven days a week. She's calling it "Rice Theory."

"I decided to do a Thai food drive-thru restaurant named Rice Theory because Thai food is well known in America and I can cook my country's food well," she writes.

She added that there are no Thai food options now along Route 1 and there are 75,000 plus commuters that travel the highway daily, so she has high hopes for business.

Chaisuphatanakul, who is the sole proprietor of Eternal Escalation back home in Bangkok, said there are only a few Thai drive-through restaurants in the United States and if the city allows this one to open up, it will be a veritable landmark for Peabody.

She did not outline any construction needed to the interior or exterior of the building and said the parking scheme will remain the same. There will be a total of six to 10 employees. It wasn't clear from the application whether she would retain some seating inside.

Now an unusual complication for the City Council to consider is that Chaisuphatanakul isn't an American citizen and therefore didn't have a standard lease contract with the property owner when she went to apply for a special permit with the city.

Haralambos Katsikis, who owns the site as Rafina Inc., wrote a letter to the City Council dated this past December and explained that Chaisuphatanakul wasn't a citizen and was awaiting a visa from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services center in California, which would allow her to lawfully operate a business in the country.

Katsikis spoke with City Clerk Tim Spanos and was advised to submit a letter to the council stating the intent to lease the property to Chaisuphatanakul for the purpose of a drive-through Thai food restaurant and that letter could suffice until the proper legal paperwork was in order.

Chaisuphatanakul now has an address in Everett and is scheduled to appear for a public hearing at 7 p.m. on June 20 in Wiggin Auditorium.

Roberta Ginesky Shuman July 07, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Years ago there was a GREAT take out Thai place called Jangs. It was on Highland Avenue in the plaza where MB is.

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