Thai Students in Michigan Protest Restaurant's Name

Or ‘No Black!’ (owned, of course, by Jonathan ‘No’ Black)

I’m reminded of a restaurant-bar in Bangkok about 20 years ago. I forget the name, but the theme was all-Nazi. Nazi flags hanging from the walls. Waiters dressed like Gestapo. Portraits of Nazi officials. The works. It got a lot of press worldwide, and this was in the days before the Internet. The owner was mystified why all these old white men kept poking their heads in the door and spitting, then walking away. It finally closed down, but the owner never could understand why this could be construed as offensive. The owner simply thought it looked snappy.


Maybe No should tell those morons to phuk off. Or would that be a pho pas?

Unless you’re unfamiliar with English, I don’t know why you would assume a man would name his restaurant after people he wanted to keep out. The joke isn’t readily apparent, but it doesn’t need to be and it’s not hard to fix. (I would go with a small sign like “Fine Thai food by “No” Hang.”)

It really bugs me when someone gets offended, then learns that nothing offensive was intended or said, and then keeps acting angry as if they deserve to be compensated for their misunderstanding. That’s how Sarntivijai sounds in this story.

I hope this doesn’t get thai-ed up in a lengthy legal battle.

Yeah, that would suck for that gai. Sum quest!

I find the explanation silly. If it’s named after the Head Chef, Mr. No (a pleasant idea), it should be called No’s Thai.

No Thai is tied with Thai Thigh for the tightest timed bowtie tying contest. When asked who had the best food, No Thai was the clear loser.

The reason? Too much thyme.

Nose tie? I find that very offensive.

There are apparently still some Hitler bars around.

Link is to a (long) blog post by an American photographer in Korea. I think it’s a really interesting blog in general, but if you only want to see the Hitler bar pictures scroll down for a while till you find them.

I’ve heard of others, including one in South Korea. Probably the same one. I’m afraid that link’s not working, though.

One of my favorite stories in a similar vein happened here in Santa Barbara. There is a small street in a residential area on the East Side of down town called Indio Muerto which is Spanish for Dead Indian. It seems that when they were laying out the streets a couple of hundred years ago, they found the corpse of a Chumash Native American and labeled the street Indio Muerto on the map. That’s the name that stuck and so it is to this day.

Some time in the late 90’s a group of college students, none of whom were Chumash and who didn’t even grow up in the area, found out about this street and decided to get all offended. They started a campaign to force the city to change the name. It got a fair amount of press locally but it didn’t make a whole lot of headway mainly because virtually all of the native and long term residents of Santa Barbara including everyone who lived on the street had no desire to change things.

Finally the newspaper interviewed the head Chumash Elder. His quote was a thing of beauty: “I don’t take offense to the name of that street. I do take offense to a bunch of white kids taking offense on my behalf.”

I remember that well. He also had a huge picture of a line of Holocaust victims hanging from nooses in the place. He took that one down as one of his “concessions.”

Hyuck, hyuck. I don’t think I’d eat there for a few reasons: 1. I’ve never had Thai food. 2. I don’t like spicy/hot food and 3. the name doesn’t make sense to me and 4. I don’t live in that city. :smiley:

But look at all that publicithai.


Maybe he should just give up on the restaurant biz, open a barber shop catering to elderly men and call it No’s Hair.

It’s been done, many times. In fact, if I remember correctly, one in Chicago is not far from the Chicago Reader offices.

Or, perhaps, nobody cares. I know that seems impossible in this day and age, but there it is.

I urge you to give Thai food a try, because it’s a myth that *all * Thai food is spicy. There are many non-spicy dishes. In fact, I actually know Thais who cannot eat spicy at all. Even my wife; she can eat some spicy, but it cannot be very hot. I can eat spicier than she can.