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An iconic part of the Columbia skyline, the Columbia Central Fire Station served as Columbia's fire department headquarters for over 44 years.

Kao Thai Cuisine is proud to be its first occupant since the building's closure in 1994. To read more about this historic building, click here.

Photos courtesy of the Columbia Fire Department Museum


A Bangkok native, proprietor Gai Wilson is more than familiar with the simple yet delectable flavors that make up Thai cuisine. Raised in a traditional Thai home, she was taught at an early age the art of Thai cooking. Her mother taught her and her two sisters the unique flavors of each foreign ingredient and emphasized freshness in its preparation. Her first independent endeavor, Tamarind Thai Cuisine, opened in 2007 in Arden, NC, right outside of Asheville.

Although Tamarind remains a staple, it was time for a new adventure! Enter Kao Thai Cuisine located in the heart of the Vista. Located in the old Columbia Firehouse Headquarters (closed down in 1995), the unique space revitalizes the historic building by combining the old and the new -complete with original rafters, floors, and garage door exit.

Our menu offers modern Thai eats that are commonly found on the streets of Bangkok as well as a mix of creative pan-Asian and Asian-American fusion dishes that are fresh and exciting. With a rotating menu of specials, we hope to continuously bring new flavors and dishes to the Vista!

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