An Open Letter to No Thai Restaurant

Dexter Village residents argue that more restaurant variety is needed in the community.

We folks here in Dexter, just west of Ann Arbor, love our own community, as much as we love Ann Arbor. It's not much more than an 8-minute drive to get to the Old West Side from the village. You might say that Dexter has become a bit of a bedroom community for Ann Arbor.

My subdivision is replete with university doctors and teachers and researchers, and members of successful businesses of every size headquartered here in Washtenaw county. All these folks have a couple things in common - they're often too busy to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a family meal, and they really appreciate great Thai food.

I do my best to, a couple times a month, hit up the No Thai! restaurant on Plymouth Road on my way home from Domino Farms back to Dexter.  The drive is just long enough that I might have to nuke the dishes for a few seconds once I'm home, but it's a small price to pay for great Thai at a great price. The closest Thai restaurant to Dexter is in fact on the Old West Side, but if I'm going to drive that far from Dexter, I'll go a few extra miles for No Thai!. Go big or go home, right?

The Dexter Patch this week reported that not one but two new pizza places have chosen to locate in the Village of Dexter. That sounds good, until you realize that Dexter is already replete with pizza places: eight, yes eight restaurants that currently either serve pizza exclusively or feature pizza at last count, and perhaps two more if you include the subs restaurants that happen to serve a "pizza" on the menu. That makes 10 pizza joints in the Village of Dexter, with a population of 4,100. Our new person-to-pizza ratio is around 400 to 1! Apply that math to Ann Arbor, and there would have to be 250 pizza joints in the city to maintain the ratio!

We've been discussing it on Patch.com and on Facebook (remember, we tornado survivors still chat with each other a lot online). The consensus is clear. WE ARE SICK OF PIZZA.

Mostly, we've been pining for Thai, Mexican, Korean, Chinese, etc.  And No Thai! has been mentioned several times in these sick-of-pizza threads. Many have noted that you've made plans to open a new location on South University near campus, hinting at the chain's long-term success and suggesting your expansion is well deserved.

Oh, what we would not do to see No Thai! here in Dexter.

There is plenty of room for you here, with unoccupied new construction at reasonable prices. Plus a central village location would extend your market toward Scio Township, Chelsea and Pinckney, which also suffer from a lack of great Thai (or other Pan Asian) fare. We have a reliable local work force, and we're not far from I-94. Finally, I believe there are enough campus students in love with No Thai! that they'd take up the slack lost from folks like me stopping for carry out on the way home from work.

So, what do you say, Mr. No? What we wouldn't give to answer the question, "is No Thai! coming to Dexter?" with "No kidding!"

Brian Shensky

Dexter Village resident

Scott August 03, 2012 at 11:10 AM
No Thai is my favorite place! I second all that was mentioned above.
Elaine Owsley August 03, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Anything but another pizza joint. I prayed that Knights would take over the former North Point, which I loved, but no- more pizza. Enough already!!!
Jenny Davis August 03, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Amen, Brian, amen!
Kyle J Marsh August 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I know why everybody wants to put in a pizza place. Dailyfinance.com had a nice little insight in their article Top 5 Mark-ups Where Restaurants Make Huge Profits... "Think about the core ingredients that go into a pizza. First, there's dough. Do you know what goes into dough? Mostly it's water and flour. Let's see, water is basically free and flour costs pennies. Minimal amounts of yeast, salt and sugar and there you go. Next, pizza sauce. Even the most dressed-up, fresh homemade sauces are not that expensive; it's just tomatoes, water and spices. Cheese and toppings, while costlier, still add a substantial markup. "Some cursory research on the subject gave me these rough figures. A medium pizza from any one of The Big Three chains costs about $2.60 to make. That comes to 25 cents for the dough, $2 for the cheese, and 35 cents for the sauce. Even if you go all the way up to a large with everything, you're looking at a cost of about $4 to $4.50... " Original article: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/09/08/top-5-food-mark-ups-where-restaurants-make-huge-profits/
Patti Hamel August 03, 2012 at 02:57 PM
It really would be nice to have an option for takeout in Dexter other than pizza.
DexterParent August 03, 2012 at 05:48 PM
No Thai is fabulous! My husband and I were on North Campus this week and we had to pick up some take out from there. Would love one here in Dexter - as well as some Mexican - how about a Moe's?!!
Marjan Zadeh August 03, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I totally agree. We need more variety in Dexter. No Thai sounds awesome!!!! Please no more pizza!!!
Rob D'Oria August 04, 2012 at 02:13 AM
I guess I'll start out by saying that while I can appreciate everyone's concern that another pizza place is opening in Dexter, we at Bits & Pizzas plan on being much more than some pizza place. Pizza will be a big focus of our menu, but it's not like the pizza you can get in Dexter, or Ann Arbor for that matter...truth be told, we plan on being the best place for pizza in Michigan. In addition to the pizza, we'll offer an extensive Bits (small plates/tapas) menu featuring cuisine from around the world, including Mexico, Italy, Spain, India, and other parts of Europe and Asia. So maybe, just maybe, we'll surprise you and be a little bit of everything you've been yearning for all wrapped up into one place. ...and Kyle, good pizza, made correctly, costs quite a bit more than $2.60 to make. Maybe Dominos can crank 'em out for that, but we aspire to do better! Hope to see all your smiling faces at our grand opening some time this coming January.
Daniel Lai August 04, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Rob, Your place sounds like it is going to be fantastic. Thanks for talking with me yesterday.
Silly Head August 04, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I agree too many pizza joints in Dexter, but I also agree with Rob in that there really isn't a pizza place in Dexter that I'm crazy about. I still drive past all 10 of them on to Anthony's or Silvio's (both in Ann Arbor). Let's hope that this newest venture will set the standard for quality and taste in what Pizza "could" be - something we haven't yet seen here in Dexter. (Sorry Aubree's outside of your cool graphics, you are just an alcohol distribution center in my opinion.) As far as No Thai, hmmm, will have to give it a try - as I'm quite used to driving past the majority of the food establishments here in Dexter in the quest of good tasting food more commonly found in Ann Arbor. For example: breakfast.... Loreen's Cafe (Dexter) or Cafe Zola's (Ann Arbor)? In short, I'm willing to pay more for better quality and drive farther, and in fact not just willing -- it is what I do with my dollars; take heed Dexter establishments.
Kyle J Marsh August 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Thanks Rob for the reply - Glad to hear you're upping the ante on quality.
Marilyn Wilkie August 05, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Loreen's is one of the last hold outs that shows what Dexter used to be and what many of us miss..a farm community. You may not agree with her politics but there are still plenty of people who grew up in this community that want a homey, less yuppified place to dine. Many of us find it sad to see everything become slick and expensive and homogenized like the places where many of the newcomers came from. You moved here because it was a quaint, cute little town with good schools, but now you want to change it. It's the story of so-called progress. Small plates and tapas I can do without. Bring in some real wholesome unadultrated food. Fresh fruits and vegetables without a lot of fakey sauces. Meats, fish and poultry that was fed right and treated humanely. I would gladly pay the price for a place that vowed to serve that kind of food.
Jim E. August 05, 2012 at 04:05 AM
So what you are saying, Marilyn, is that you like food that is just like what you can make at home? Do you not like variety? I live in Dexter and can appreciate the up and coming places. Look at downtown Plymouth. They are always busy and bring lots of money into the community with their small, local businesses. You won't have much of a community if you do not support it. Farmers are few and far between these days. Sorry you will have to let go of your 1945 memories of Dexter past and keep up with the rest of the world. Maybe you just have a simple palate. And that's fine. But being so negatively opinionated just shows bitterness. Also, I truly doubt that you would be willing to pay more for "wholesome" (greasy spoon?) food that you could just make at home. If a place, like the one you are speaking of, (Loreens's) upped their prices you would whine and protest about that as well, right? Wouldn't you rather have a downtown area that brings money into the community instead of empty store fronts? Why knock things before you try them?
Jay Brooks August 05, 2012 at 04:07 AM
I was bummed to see even one more pizza place too. I'm glad it came up here. Rob, thanks for speaking up; what you're doing sounds interesting. I'm sure you have a lot riding on it. "Jim E" - The woman expressed her opinion. You, however, belittled her person.
Jim E. August 05, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Jay, I spoke my opinion as well. I did not belittle her. She sounds like someone that is resistant to change. She also seems to have a negative opinion of "newcomers" and new businesses. It's not like there are casinos and hotels going up. Just a few new places to eat a meal. And if you truly read her comment, she is in fact putting a certain group of people down.
Jeni Naughton August 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I agree that there are too many pizza places in Dexter already, but there is a difference between pizza places and good pizza. That being said wood fired pizza is DELICIOUS and I am looking forward to trying Bits and Pizza's pizza when it opens!
Laura Jones August 08, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Wow, incredibly rude comment Jim. Maybe we can at least keep it civil? All she did was express an opinion about what she likes and doesn't like. Perhaps some things must change, but hopefully the demand for civility will not. You owe the lady an apology. The greasy spoon and 1945 comments were over the line.
Silly Head August 10, 2012 at 02:42 PM
"Bring in some real wholesome unadultrated food. Fresh fruits and vegetables without a lot of fakey sauces. Meats, fish and poultry that was fed right and treated humanely. I would gladly pay the price for a place that vowed to serve that kind of food." Totally agree with that statement and I think this is a universal consumer desire - no need to stereotype yuppie, Dexter settlers, or otherwise. But I also don't think you'll find that at Loreen's. (What is their food source? Gordon's? Where are they sourcing sausage, gravy, chicken and eggs? And what is it cooked in? Grill prep?) Any restaurant that focuses on a cheap price point is using mass production food sources which is a compromise of good, unadulterated, wholesome food. That's just economics, not politics.
Jane Doe September 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Aubree's isn't really a pizza joint. It has way more variety and pretty good food. Not to mention a bar... pizza joints don't have that.
Jane Doe September 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM
My vote is for Chipotle!
Jane Doe September 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM
"These small town minds stay small."


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