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Longtime Lexington Thai restaurant owner announces a big change is coming – AOL

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March 21, 2024 at 6:00 AM

If you like Thai food and live in Lexington, you’ve almost certainly had some of Kukie’s, whether at her restaurant or from her food truck.

Fans of her Jasmine Rice Thai & Vietnamese Cuisine were surprised a few weeks ago when she announced that she is selling her Winchester Road restaurant. And she wanted to give plenty of advance warning to her customers.

“I love my customers, I cook my food with love,” she said.

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Nipaporn “Kukie” Ruadrew said that she decided that after 14 years she’s ready to take on new challenges and leave some of the old ones behind.

She said that she hurt her back last summer and long days on her feet operating the restaurant, often solo, have begun to take a physical toll.

Plans are in the works to sell her restaurant to a former employee who will take over in September. The former employee, who also owns Thai House restaurant in Georgetown, did not respond to requests for comment.

Nipaporn Ruadrew, serves up some food at Jasmine Rice restaurant on Friday January 14, 2011 in Lexington, Ky. The Thai & Vietnamese cuisine restaurant has been sold. Mark Cornelison/2011 staff file photoNipaporn Ruadrew, serves up some food at Jasmine Rice restaurant on Friday January 14, 2011 in Lexington, Ky. The Thai & Vietnamese cuisine restaurant has been sold. Mark Cornelison/2011 staff file photo
Nipaporn Ruadrew, serves up some food at Jasmine Rice restaurant on Friday January 14, 2011 in Lexington, Ky. The Thai & Vietnamese cuisine restaurant has been sold. Mark Cornelison/2011 staff file photo

But the name of the restaurant, which is named for her older daughter Jasmine, who was four when the restaurant opened, will leave with Kukie. (She said that Thai people go by nicknames, so that’s the name most people know her by.)

“My last day will be Aug. 31,” Kukie said.

She plans to keep her food truck going at least through this summer’s event season, so you will be able to find her pad Thai and other signature dishes at Railbird, Crave and the Woodland Art Festival, among other local events.

In the green papaya salad, the fruit is shredded and served with fresh shrimp and chopped peanuts.In the green papaya salad, the fruit is shredded and served with fresh shrimp and chopped peanuts.
In the green papaya salad, the fruit is shredded and served with fresh shrimp and chopped peanuts.
Nipaporn “Kukie” Ruadrew announced on social media that she is selling her Jasmine Rice Thai and Vietnamese Restaurant on Winchester Road. Her last day will be Aug. 31. FacebookNipaporn “Kukie” Ruadrew announced on social media that she is selling her Jasmine Rice Thai and Vietnamese Restaurant on Winchester Road. Her last day will be Aug. 31. Facebook
Nipaporn “Kukie” Ruadrew announced on social media that she is selling her Jasmine Rice Thai and Vietnamese Restaurant on Winchester Road. Her last day will be Aug. 31. Facebook

She also hopes to launch cooking classes and may even get into selling home-grown Thai vegetables at the farmers market.

“I want to pass my gift to other people, want to inspire people to follow their dreams,” she said.

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