The end of an era: Thai Cafe closes

Thai Cafe
The Thai Cafe has closed. (Photo: Sam Girvin/Stanford Daily)

Peanut sauce salad! Chicken soup! Curry! For three decades, MYKHANH BAHLMAN announced the arrival of hearty lunches for faculty, students and staff waiting in line at Stanford’s beloved Thai Café.

This month, after serving more than a generation of hungry customers, Bahlman closed up her kitchen window for the last time. “I would like to thank the Stanford community for the chance to serve them for the past 30 years,” Bahlman said.

Her next step is retirement – spending time with her family and being able to sleep in past 3 a.m. A family emergency forced her to close her shop unexpectedly on June 12.

Since opening the café in 1987, Bahlman has served Asian cuisine to regulars and visitors alike who joined the long – but always rapidly moving – line outside the ground floor courtyard of Building 420.

Around campus, the Thai Café was known for its generous portions, quick service and reasonable prices. Bahlman noted that all of the items on the menu were the same price and cash-only so that students could afford to order everything.

The Stanford community will definitely miss this popular campus eatery, said SHANNON SILVA, business and program manager for H&S Facilities and Capital Planning.

“We are saddened to hear about Bahlman’s retirement since her café has been an institution at Stanford for the last 30 years,” Silva said. “At the same time, we wish her a long and happy retirement. Her dedication and commitment to the Stanford community have been remarkable, and many people across campus will miss Bahlman and her cuisine.”