Their long-running family feud over, four St. Louis Park restaurateurs are burying the hatchet and moving on.
Earlier this month, Thom Pham and his sisters Charis Fishbein, Hannah Johnson and Grace Ray inked a deal settling Pham's lawsuit, in which he had accused the sisters of stealing his recipes and embezzling $250,000 from the former incarnation of his restaurant, then at the corner of Minnetonka Boulevard and Utah Avenue South.
The four said they will continue to operate their rival businesses — Fishbein, Johnson and Ray now own A Wok in the Park — with the support of loyal customers, despite being located around the corner from each other.
"The restaurant has been going great," Fishbein told St. Louis Park Patch. "We're doing very well."
A Wok in the Park opened in the original Thanh Do space in September after Pham fired the sisters via text-message in 2009. As the lease was in the sisters' names — they were the original Thanh Do's managers — they decided to open a new restaurant in the same spot, and Pham re-opened Thanh Do around the corner at 8028 Minnetonka Ave. All the while, Pham began talking with St. Louis Park police about his claim of embezzlement, and the lawsuit wasn't far off, City Pages' Andy Mannix reports.
Both Fishbein and Pham declined to discuss the terms of the settlement, saying all parties agreed not to discuss its details or to bad-mouth their former opponents — but both hinted that the tensions haven't entirely gone away.
"It's not easy," Fishbein said. "We've basically been unable to take days off, and we've been putting every penny we have into the restaurant and lawyers' fees."
She added that A Wok in the Park is likely to remain at its current location. It appears that the same is true for Thanh Do.
"We will continue in our current location," Pham told St. Louis Park Patch. "We are the original Thanh Do, and we are going to serve our full menu ... People come to us because they love us and they love our menu."