'Go away and don't come back' cafe sign blunder

NAOMI ARNOLD
Last updated 12:47 02/04/2012
Fred Bennett
THAI TROUBLE: Fred Bennett outside the restaurant formerly known as 'Go Away and Don't Come Back'.

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It was a case of lost in translation for Fred Bennett, the owner of Nelson's Brewers bar and restaurant, when he decided to start selling Thai food.

He hired a Thai chef and asked for his advice on choosing a good name. The chef came up with a Thai phrase he said meant "Welcome and see you again", and Bennett duly got a sign printed and installed outside the restaurant.

Months went by before he started wondering why he'd served plenty of Westerners, but hardly any Thai people. The mystery was solved when his chef left and he hired a new one. The first thing she said was: "Why did you call your restaurant 'Go Away and Don't Come Back'?"

"That's why it pays to research," he laughs now. Bennett's happy he managed to get the words changed in time for Race Unity Day in Victory Square, but he regrets that since then he's heard of at least one woman who refused to eat there when she read his sign. "I'd like to apologise to the Thai community if I have offended them, which I'm pretty sure I would have," he says. He's gone for a much safer name now: Victory Thai.

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- Nelson

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