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Rice Palace

Rice PalaceThai restaurant Rice Palace already has two generations under its roof, building the foundation of another successful restaurant in Eau Claire. Its official owner is Kha Neng Xiong, but his wife Mary Lor Xiong is the face of the operation. Mary runs the business while he works elsewhere, and their daughter Mai Chi assists her mother and works at the restaurant with her.

Rice Palace opened in March of this year by the Xiong family, and has since added more Thai spice to downtown Eau Claire. This is the first restaurant the Xiongs have owned, but feel they have experienced enough of Thai culture to create authentic food they are proud to serve. They haven't always lived in Eau Claire-- Mary notes that they traveled around Thailand and Laos before coming back to open the restaurant.

Owning a restaurant wasn't always the dream, but after working in a corporate environment for a number of years, Mary and her husband decided to take the chance of opening up their own restaurant for the option of controlling their own environment- a situation both of them preferred. No longer living paycheck to paycheck, Mary enjoys being her own boss and knowing that her and her husband did something they wanted to do on their own.

Mai Chi, translating in part for her mother and speaking about the restaurant herself, boasts about their excellent food. She says the family takes pride in their uniqueness, she feels the food is different from other restaurants and that they take their time in preparing it.  She also speaks of the sauce they make themselves at Rice Palace, appearing on a variety of dishes they serve. "I also think the overall look of the restaurant is better," says Mai Chi about the general atmosphere.  She attributes this to the time that was put in to create a comfortable environment for their customers.

Though the restaurant is owned and run by the Xiong family, they consulted the Western Dairyland Business Center before beginning their new business venture. Mai Chi says her parents didn't know where to start with their business plan but that their consultation helped things go smoothly, to which Mary agrees. Once they learned how to successfully form their plan and get things going, they were much more confident; since its inception, Rice Palace has been running as planned.

Rice Palace is located at 210 S. Barstow St. in Eau Claire, their number is 715-514-0460.

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