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September 20, 2022

Kalaya Thai Kitchen to close Italian Market location before opening new restaurant in Fishtown

Owner Chutatip ‘Nok’ Suntaranon says the final day on South Ninth Street will be Sept. 30

Food & Drink Restaurants
Kalaya Thai Kitchen close Kalaya Philadelphia/Facebook

Kalaya Thai Kitchen will close its original location in South Philadelphia at the end of the month as it plans to move into a new, larger space in Fishtown.

Kalaya Thai Kitchen will close its Italian Market location at the end of the month as chef-owner Chutatip "Nok" Suntaranon and her staff work to open a new space in Fishtown.

Suntaranon made the announcement through Instagram on Monday and said that the restaurant's official last day of service will be Friday, Sept. 30. 

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"Thank you so much for everything, Philadelphia," Suntaranon said in the post. "Thank you for going on this journey with me. It is far from over, and I am excited for the next chapter of Kalaya – one which I know will only get better each and every day."

The restaurant's location at 4 W. Palmer St. will seat over 140 people, which is nearly five times larger than its current 30-seat capacity. It also will have a full liquor license and is set to be open daily, the Inquirer reported. While no definite opening date has been announced, Suntaranon said it will be sometime in late October.

The new space, which was first announced last September, came about through a partnership with Defined Hospitality, a company that runs other popular Philly restaurants like Pizzeria Beddia, Suraya and Condesa.

"Of course, this is not the end of Kalaya Thai Kitchen," Suntaranon said. "We will take some time between the closing of Bella Vista and the opening of Fishtown to reflect, to take care of ourselves and to make sure our new location is as ready as it can be when we first welcome in customers."

Kalaya Thai Kitchen opened at 764 S. Ninth St. in April 2019. Since then, it was named the best new restaurant in the country by Esquire in 2020 and Suntaranon was nominated for the James Beard Foundation's best chef in the Mid-Atlantic award earlier this year.

The restaurant is known for its authentic southern Thai dishes, including Kang Ghai Khao Mun, a southern style chicken curry with coconut rice, and Shaw Muang, bright blue dumplings in the shape of flowers filled with ground chicken, cucumber, red chili and cilantro.

The Fishtown space is not Suntaranon's first expansion with Kalaya. In September 2020, she opened the Kalaya Thai Market at 922 S. Ninth St. The retail shop sold specialty items and ingredients used to make Kalaya's dishes. It's currently temporarily closed, according to Kalaya's website.

The restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Those who want to get one last taste of Kalaya before it closes and the Fishtown location opens can make reservations via Tock.