CLARK, NJ – Thailand Restaurant will be closing its doors after almost two decades of serving traditional Thai fare from its Central Avenue location.
A sign greets patrons at the door as they enter indicating that the restaurant’s last day open will be Sunday, June 3. Petey Gosinanond, the daughter of owners Cindy and Alex Gosinanond, cited her parents’ health as the reason for the closure.
Gosinanond said that her parents are no longer able to maintain the pace and demands required to run the eatery six days a week. Alex Gosinanond is in his early 60s but has difficulty standing for long periods and managing the heavy woks these days, she said, the effects of a car accident he suffered some years ago.
Asked if she considered taking over the restaurant from her parents, she said it would be a lot of work to take it over.
“We make everything here, we do it all from scratch. He [Alex Gosinanond] makes all the fillings for the spring rolls, curry puffs and those are just two of our most popular appetizers, but we make everything here,” said Gosinanond. “No one could make it like him. I’ve tried and it’s not the same.”
After almost 20 years in the community, Gosinanond is feeling sad about leaving her patrons.
“We are thankful for our customers and their support all these years, we feel apologetic for closing,” she said. “We will miss our customers; they have become friends. Our customers keep us updated on all the good news in their lives, too. We’ve had people come here for a long time, then tell us they were engaged, and then married.”
Thailand patrons have been lamenting on social media about the loss of their favorite Thai restaurant. Some were hoping it wasn’t true while others, accepting the change, spoke with fondness about the owners and the wait staff.
Gosinanond said although not all of the staff is technically family, their employees stay with them for a long time and they become family. They spend many hours together each week, more than at home, developing a bond and many memories with each other and their customers.
“We’ve seen families go from a couple with no kids, to having two and three children sitting at the table eating Thai food,” said Gosinanond. “We have known them that long.”
When asked what is next for the family, Gosinanond said she plans to get her parents the medical attention they both need while she handles the final affairs of closing the restaurant. After that, she said she is looking forward to a break for a little while.