After 34 Years, Khun Kay Thai Cafe Owners Prepare to Retire

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

For 34 years, Montrose residents have been able to count on seeing the friendly faces of Supatra Yooto and Kay Soodjai at Khun Kay Thai Cafe. Now, only a few weeks remain to say “Farewell” before the ladies take a long-deserved retirement. 

The Thai natives opened their first restaurant, Golden Room, in an old house in 1982. Eventually, the structure started suffering from age. In 2008, it was torn down and the current place, Khun Kay Thai Cafe, was built in its place.

The owners are retiring but the restaurant will go on. It has been sold to a former employee, Tanawat Sumrith, who went into the restaurant business himself. He worked at Khun Kay Thai while working on his master's in business administration at the University of St. Thomas.

Sumrith, along with partner Anuch Sumrith, went on to start a Thai restaurant in Massachusetts called Dok Bua. Khun Kay Thai’s soon-to-be-former owners and the new ones are both from the same area of Thailand and have known each other for a long time.

The Sumriths will officially take over Khun Kay Thai on January 1, 2016. Soodjai will stay on through the end of January to help with the transition. A press release promises that “fans of Khun Kay will see very little difference in the cafe, as plans are to continue with the same menu and specials that have made Khun Kay unique.”

Soodjai and Yooto have worked seven days a week for years. Once they are done with the rigors of restaurant life, they plan to travel, visit family and catch up on all those things they never had time for before. Overall, it sounds like a happy conclusion to the long, successful careers of two women who helped introduce Thai cuisine to Houston. 

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.