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What's up at King of Thai Noodles? [San Francisco]

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The Richmond SF Blog reports that the two King of Thai Noodles shops on Clement street have covered up the "King of" on their signage and are now just "Thai Noodles." The blog speculates that it was pressure from the North Beach KIng of Thai Noodles.

http://richmondsfblog.com/2014/01/15/...

However, digging into Corporation Wiki reveals that the corporations that own North Beach and Clement KOTNs are headed by the same person, Saranya Chaichacha.

It's possible the Clement St. operations have been sold, I suppose.

Has anyone noted changes at the other KOTN locations around town?

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  1. The King of Thai Noodles in Alameda also changed to "Thai Noodle House of Alameda" quite a while ago. The last time I was there the quality seemed to have gone down, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Perhaps they are simply acknowledging that they are no longer the kings, then. Such honesty!

      1. re: vulber

        Actually I misspelled it. It's Chaichana. But KIng of Thai Noodles in North Beach started out as King Cha Cha.Thai just to confuse me. King Cha Cha moved to San Bruno as the North Beach place was being redone and renamed.. Clear enough?

        1. re: soupçon

          I suspect the reason is that in SF, if a business has more than a certain number of locations then the city considers it to be a 'chain' and there are some negative consequences. Owners will sometimes split them and change the names of the split off locations. Martha & Bros/ Cumaica coffee is one example.

          1. re: davidg1

            Interesting point - the formula retail restrictions apply to any restaurant with more than 11 locations. http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx...

            But if you change the name, facade, color scheme, etc., you may be able to get around being declared formula retail. I guess King of Thai's owners may have been getting close to having >11 locations?

            If true in the case of Cumaica/King of Thai, this seems like an undesirable consequence of the restrictions. It's one thing to try and prevent McDonald's from flooding every neighborhood. It's another to force every successful small business to wreck its own branding every time it starts getting successful. (And, in the case of non-restaurant retail, possibly force San Franciscans to pay higher prices for goods that might not even be higher quality.)