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A Popular Thai Restaurant Will Expand on Park Boulevard

Bahn Thai is also reopening its fire-damaged Hillcrest location.

The front of a Thai restaurant.
The current University Heights location.
Bahn Thai

After operating out of a modest storefront on Park Boulevard for over a decade, Bahn Thai is significantly sizing up in University Heights. The popular neighborhood Thai spot is moving into the much larger 3,500-square-foot space occupied by Johnston’s, until it shuttered last fall, which was also the former longtime home of Small Bar.

Bahn Thai owner Paul Srimuang tells Eater that they will be settling into the new location later this year, after obtaining a construction permit to build onto the existing site to add more storage. Though the two previous businesses were bar-focused, Srimuang says they won’t be serving alcohol at the restaurant.

Thai green curry.
Green curry.
Bahn Thai

2024 will also bring the reopening of Bahn Thai’s newer Hillcrest location, which has been closed since May 2023 due to a fire. The rebuilding process has begun, says Srimuang, and they hope to be back up and running on Fifth Avenue by June or July.

Paul Ahern and Nate Benedetto of Next Wave Commercial helped Johnston’s owner John Pani, who runs the nearby Park & Rec, transfer the property to Bahn Thai. Pani tells Eater that he’s very happy about the sale as he’s always been a huge fan of the Thai restaurant.

Bahn Thai

4628 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92116