Since Sticky Rice Chiang Mai opened in February 2014, Thai food lovers have confused the restaurant with the original location, ownership says. That's why they shut down the newer restaurant and plan on reopening the space on Tuesday, rechristening it as Sweet Rice. They're adding sushi and Korean dishes to cast a broader appeal to customers.
"They're both on Western and next to gas stations," Sticky Rice's Jan Purananda said. "People were confused and getting orders mixed up."
The original Sticky Rice on Western Avenue in the North Center neighborhood earned a fierce loyalty from customers. But the second didn't manage the same success. Ownership closed the second restaurant last month and started the makeover. They hope the new name and a larger menu will help attract more business. Thai food continues to be their focus, but new items like Korean chicken wings will give diners more choices.
"It's not authentic Korean with Korean people making it, but it's going to be as good," Purananda said.