Rin’s seeks new owners
YUPA GARRETT, owner of Rin’s Thai, is retiring and hoping to sell the old Victorian that houses the restaurant.
Rin’s Thai’s run in Sonoma is slowly coming to an end.
The restaurant moved around the block from Broadway to its current location in 1999, when Robert and Yupa Garrett bought the old Victorian home at 137 and 139 E. Napa Street that had previously housed Petersberrys Café, Pasta Nostra and an art gallery.
Yupa Garrett remembers that they paid about $650,000 for the property back then and did extensive renovations, including moving the kitchen from what is currently the bar area, installing a grease trap, replacing the roof and building a patio. She estimates that they spent something like $200,000 almost immediately.
The building, listed with Chuck Lamp of Sotheby’s (as “Victorian lady seeks new admirers”), has been on the market for three months for a $1,850,000 asking price, but Yupa says she has not received any serious offers yet, though she says they are in no rush to sell. “I still enjoy the business,” she said. “It’s not like I’m laying in bed waiting to go.”
Running any business is tough work, restaurants are notoriously taxing and Yupa said she is looking to relax. “I’m 65 going on – I’m over 65,” she reasoned.
After more than two decades of running Rin’s in Sonoma, Yupa decided it was time to retire about 6 months ago.
Anthony Kamindr, her nephew, became a partner in the restaurant in 2000, along with his wife Arisa, but when she told him she wanted to retire, she says, he said he wasn’t interested in running the business alone. Yupa said she loves Sonoma and will stay in the city that has been her home for 21 years.
At first, Yupa says, they considered selling just the restaurant, which has a strong following, and collecting rent, but had second thoughts. “Just the thought of someone not doing a good job,” Yupa started and then trailed off, settling on, “It was not a good idea.”
So the entire building, which includes the two addresses and on-site parking spaces, went up for sale, with the restaurant equipment included. “Our situation is unique,” Yupa said, “in that we are selling a building and a restaurant.” Though whoever buys the property certainly can do whatever they want with it, prime restaurant space is surely appealing to some, though as Yupa said, “There’s a small pool of buyers.”
Until the right one comes along, though, she’s content to wait.