Despite the fact that no one seems to want chains around and everyone wants “small local businesses” to pop up into every vacant storefront it’s tough for some retail store fronts to actually stay in business despite all those people out there insisting that they hate big corporate baddies and love to embrace the small mom and pop shops.
Case in point. At the corner of Main and Atlantic/Appezzato there has been a series of businesses since I’ve moved here that have come and gone. The only thing that remains consistent is the donut shop, which literally has survived on selling calorie laden donuts (mmmm) and a sundry of other random things, but whatever they are doing keeps them in business.
Since I moved to Alameda eight years ago the store front two doors down has been vacant, then it was the original out post for Everett & Jones until Everett & Jones moved to Webster Street where it lasted not that long and then left Alameda, figuring that if Alamedans wanted barbecue they could just go to Jack London. Then it became Ben’s Barbecue which, I’m guessing, wanted to capitalize on the fact that the spot used to be an Everett & Jones, but Ben’s BBQ didn’t last that long either. The few times I was there it was a ghost town. After Ben’s BBQ it was Rio California which was really good — and has been in business in Oakland’s Preservation Park forever so it’s not as though the owners didn’t know how to run a business — but didn’t have enough business in Alameda to stay afloat. Then it became the second outpost for Park Street’s Taqueria Viva Mexico and their stay at Main and Atlantic/Appezzato was also pretty shortlived. Probably because their hours of operation were pretty weird. Every time we tried to stop in, they seemed to be closed and my kids really enjoyed the food there.
The other day I noticed that there was yet another “open” sign in that store front after the Taqueria moved out. I hadn’t had time to check it out, but a neighbor on Twitter noted that it was a new Thai restaurant. So here it is: Monkey Thai. Here’s a menu from grub hub because I can’t seem to find a real website for the restaurant.
Of course the exception to the “we want local mom and pop places” is always the Asian restaurant exception. In that people think that there are too many “Asian” restaurants in Alameda. Of course this disregards the fact that Asia is a huge diverse place with many unique cultures and not some monolithic place where one Asian cuisine is virtually indistinguishable from the next. It’s akin to saying that there’s too much “European” food out there and making the assumption that British food is exactly the same as Italian food. I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about this once before, but even within Asian countries there are regional cuisines that have their own unique flavor profiles as well.
So here’s to Monkey Thai staying in business in that really difficult location. I’m looking forward to trying the “Winging” which is fried chicken wings topped with crispy basil and a sweet chili sauce. Yum….