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Adam Civalier

Adam Civalier KHONG Thai

Adam D. Civalier shares details of Rochester Thai restaurant, KHONG

By | Adam Civalier

Serving signature Thai dishes in Rochester’s North Winton Village, KHONG Thai Cuisine has gone down a storm since opening earlier this year.

The brainchild of Adam D. Civalier and Sak Southi, owner of nearby Sak’s Thai Cuisine in Perinton, KHONG has delivered a much-needed taste of Southeast Asian cuisine to Rochester, NY. Opened earlier this year and located in the North Winton Village, the restaurant has already achieved a loyal following among locals.

Conveniently situated, the restaurant boasts a varied menu ranging from pork dumplings and spring rolls to KHONG house noodles, sweet and spicy green curry, papaya salad, shrimp dumpling soup, and much more. “We often do a brisk lunchtime trade,” explains co-owner Civalier, “so to cater to customers at this time of day we offer a variety of salads and soups, perfect for lunch.”

Each dish at KHONG is prepared fresh by Southi and his team. Accordingly, spice levels can be individually tailored by customers. “We have a couple of guys who come in regularly and say they want their faces to be blown off with spice,” says Civalier of the restaurant’s spice options. “The good news is that they keep coming back!”

The restaurant’s spice scale runs from one up to five ‘punches,’ with one being the mildest and five being the spiciest. This, explains Civalier, allows customers to order a meal which is perfect for them, every time.

Writing for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, food and drink reporter Tracy Schuhmacher says of the restaurant, “The eatery is cozy, with seating for 20 divided between tables and counters. The look is sleek and modern, with two flat-screen televisions available for watching sporting events. Trendy modern music provides the audio backdrop.”

Developed from farmland on the outskirts of Rochester in the early 1900s, North Winton Village has grown into a bustling and popular neighborhood. The village today is home to numerous eateries and one-of-a-kind boutiques.  The neighborhood is also home to numerous popular bars and pizzerias, plus a much-loved local bagel business. “The North Winton Village neighborhood is awesome, as are the people who live here,” adds Civalier, wrapping up, “and we now have numerous regulars who are coming into KHONG twice a day to eat which is a fantastic feeling for us as a business.”

KHONG Thai Cuisine is open six days a week from 11am-9pm, closed Tuesdays. To find out more, please visit

Adam D Civalier

Adam D. Civalier and Sak Southi bring fast-casual Thai dining to Rochester

By | Adam Civalier

Earlier this year, Rochester residents Adam D. Civalier and Sak Southi joined forces to create KHONG Thai Cuisine.

Based in the heart of North Winton Village, the fast-casual Thai dining spot has quickly garnered praise from Rochester area fans of Thai cuisine. Under commercial real estate investor turned restaurateur Adam D. Civalier and experienced chef Sak Southi, who has also owned Sak’s Thai Cuisine in Perinton for almost a decade, the pair’s forward-thinking approach to Thai food is going down a storm.

Beautiful atmosphere, great location, awesome food, and at reasonable prices, what more could you want? Welcome to the neighborhood, KHONG!” says one North Winton Village resident and customer. “Great menu, clean and cozy dining area. Food was excellent!” another adds.

“There are some really cool concepts that we want to try,” reveals Civalier. “For example, we’ve experimented with a Thai-inspired burrito which we’re excited for customers to taste.”

Fresh and individually tailored  Thai dishes

Each dish at KHONG is prepared fresh by Southi and his culinary team. As such, spice levels can be individually tailored by customers. “There are a couple of guys who come in and say they want their faces to be blown off with spice, and they keep coming back,” says Civalier of the restaurant’s spice options.

KHONG’s spice scale runs from one through five ‘punches,’ displayed as now-ubiquitous fist bump emojis, with five being the spiciest. “Personally, I stick with two punches!” Civalier adds.

The restaurant does a brisk lunchtime trade, so to cater to customers at this time of day KHONG Thai Cuisine offers three salads and seven soups, perfect for lunch. With an emphasis on outstanding value, other options, such as many of KHONG’s noodle dishes, will run customers to just $10 for a lunch portion.

Of the restaurant’s location, Adam Civalier calls KHONG’s spot in North Winton Village ‘awesome.’

“The North Winton neighborhood and the people are awesome, and we have regulars who are coming in twice a day to eat now,” reveals Civalier.

Officially opened in February of this year, KHONG’s launch saw Buddhist monks visit and bless the restaurant with holy water. “Sak and I are excited about the future,” adds Civalier, wrapping up, “and we both look forward to hopefully growing the KHONG brand in years to come.”

KHONG Thai Cuisine is open 6 days a week from 11 am until 9 pm, closed Tuesdays. To find out more, please visit

Adam D Civalier

Adam D. Civalier briefly explores the history of street art

By | Adam Civalier

Street art has a controversial history, yet at the same time, it’s a relatively short one.

Street art, or graffiti, was initially and predominantly popularized in the 1970s, first surfacing at the very end of the 1960s. In the almost 50 years since, the practice has evolved into an art form, loathed by some, but lauded by many. Fans of street art, such as Adam D. Civalier, have gone as far as opening up their own properties to so-called graffiti artists – something which would’ve been unheard of five decades ago.

Adam Civalier

Closely tied to hip-hop from its outset, and hailing from New York City, in those two respects at least – not much has changed. “Personally, I love street art which is inspired by architecture and the natural world, and which expresses layered visions of society, particularly in New York City,” explains Civalier, a real estate investor and restaurateur based in Rochester.

Culture, politics, and activism saw street art pioneers such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Shepard Fairey, and Keith Haring surface throughout the ’70s and ’80s. A mixed bag of artists and art styles, the trend quickly spread. “‘Graffiti‘ soon arrived in Washington, D.C. with artist Taki 183’s work quickly becoming renowned,” explains Civalier. “Elsewhere, in San Francisco for example, Barry McGee was the driving force behind the Bay Area’s early graffiti art scene.”

Barry McGee would go on to marry fellow street artist Margaret Kilgallen, who remained one of the few prominent female artists in the field until her death from breast cancer in 2001.

“Back in the ’70s and ’80s, street art’s appeal quickly began to spread across the globe, with artists including Blek le Rat becoming the face of the art style in Paris, for instance,” Civalier adds.

Street art continues to evolve, even today, thanks in no small part to individuals such as Adam D. Civalier. The real estate investor has opened a number of his properties. This includes one of his restaurant businesses, to prominent street artists such as Thievin’ Stephen and members of the FUA Krew.

“I’m personally a huge fan of street art and graffiti, and it struck me how many of these buildings were the perfect canvas. Accordingly, I reached out to a number of my favorite artists with a proposition,” he adds.

The resulting work, undertaken entirely legally and with Civalier’s obvious blessing, has subsequently been showcased on social media. Attracting thousands of interactions on sites such as Instagram and Facebook.

“I want to be able to share these artists’ work. Anywhere I can provide a blank canvas, and where it’s appropriate. Either through my business interests or my property portfolio, I’ll strive to do so,” he reveals.

“A quote from the late street art pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat sums up what I think I love most about the art style,” adds Civalier, wrapping up, “and it goes, ‘I don’t think about art when I’m working; I try to think about life.'”

adam civalier khong

Adam Civalier’s Favorite Thai Food

By | Adam Civalier

As co-owner of Rochester-based restaurant KHONG, Adam Civalier‘s knowledge of Thai cuisine is, arguably, almost second to none.

Here, he reveals three of his all-time favorite dishes and talks more about his passion for Thai food and the principles behind the restaurant.

“I love an entree,” he begins. “Pad Peow Wan is a favorite of mine. It’s a sweet and sour dish with stir-fried pineapple, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, green and white onions, tomatoes and cucumber.”


Adam Civalier continues, “It’s a best seller at the restaurant, too, alongside other entrees such as Pad Puk Kha-Na, or oriental broccoli, and our stir-fried eggplant in a spicy basil sauce.”

Second on the list for Adam Civalier is Gang Keow Wan, a sweet and spicy green curry. “It’s the archetypal Thai green curry. This sweet, Spicy dish delivers huge flavor and aroma with lime leaves, basil, bamboo shoots, eggplant, bell peppers, string beans and zucchini.”

Adam Civalier says it’s a close tie between Gang Keow Wan and Gang Panang, a creamy coconut dish with added spicy curry paste and sliced lime leaves, for his favorite Thai curry. “Gang Keow Wan just edges it for me, I think,” he adds, after some careful consideration.

So, what’s Adam Civalier’s first choice? “It has got to be Pad Thai, arguably the most famous Thai noodle dish,” he suggests. “This is another best seller at KHONG and deservedly so,” the restaurateur confirms.

The restaurant’s appetizers, soups and salads also get rave reviews from Adam Civalier. “I love everything we serve, but I’m especially partial to our pork dumplings, grilled beef salad and our shrimp dumpling soup.”


“I’d encourage anyone to check those out,” he adds.

Of his and the rest of the team’s view for KHONG, Adam Civalier explains, “The primary objective in the creation of the restaurant was to provide a casual dining environment. This is fast and efficient, while still capable of delivering the high-quality Thai cuisine we all know and love.”

“I think,” he adds, wrapping up, “the neighborhood and customer base has embraced our vision. I couldn’t be happier or more proud.”

KHONG is open six days a week — closed on Tuesdays — from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and can be found at 260 Winton Road North, Rochester, New York 14610.

To find out more, please visit