The restaurant at Tri Trang Beach, south of Patong on Phuket's west coast, appears to be too close to the water to be legal.
Yet the ''owner'' claims to have a property title for the restaurant - and another ''owner'' claims to have a property title for a larger 111 rai property on land surrounding the restaurant.
Emerald Co wants to build a resort fronting the secluded beach but the restaurant is in the way.
The restaurant, once a simple structure, has been enlarged and developed at a cost of three million baht, a group of Phuket investigators was told at the beach earlier this week.
The restaurant's ''owner,'' Sompong Sakultab, is reported as saying that he inherited the property from his father.
However, he has been unable to produce a building permit for the construction and the Patong Council laid charges against him in August last year.
A second charge in that he has failed to respond to an order to demolish the building has since been laid.
Khun Sompong's lawyer says his client will fight the demolition order through the courts.
Phuket Marine Office 5 Chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut, one of the officials inspecting the beach, said he could not understand how a property title could be issued for such a small plot of land with the larger plot directly behind it.
He said that private encroachment was out of control on many parts of Phuket's shorefronts. The issue was ''difficult to solve,'' he said.
Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak led the Tri Trang inspection with representatives from the Damrungtam complaints office, based at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City, and the Phuket Land Titles Office.
Protecting Phuket's beaches was also the focus of a meeting yesterday with Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada urging authorities overseeing Patong, Tri Trang, Laem Singh and Kamala to manages the popular beaches using common sense.
It was the second meeting in a series. Vice Governor Jamleran had previously told the authorities that he wanted a cutback in the number of rows of umbrellas and a clear idea of beach zones for jet-skis and paragliders.
''I want a beach map that shows who has the right to do what and where,'' he said. ''I also want everyone to understand that the beaches are public. They do not belong to anyone.''
He gave the local authorities 30 days to come up with a beaches blueprint.