CLARK, NJ – Foodies, loyal customers and locals have been making the final pilgrimage to Thailand Restaurant for one last meal and visit before they close for good after June 3. Many are being turned away at the door.
With limited space and resources, Petey Gosinanond, the daughter of owners Cindy and Alex Gosinanond, said they cannot keep up with the demand.
“It has been crazy in here, you have no idea, completely crazy,” said Gosinanond. “I have to stop taking takeout orders by 5 and those orders are taking an hour and a half to fill.”
The owners have been forced to begin distributing only a limited number of seating tickets each day because they can’t meet the requests for dine-in customers either, said Gosinanond.
On Thursday evening three friends traveled from Bayonne and Colonia to meet for a final dinner at Thailand only to be turned away at the door. Despite the let down, the friends with beer in hand weren’t letting it spoil their hopes of getting in the next night.
Ruth and Keith Fabes made the journey from Staten Island, New York, to meet their friends Marty Schwartz and Raquel Gemer of Cranford for dinner one last time in Clark. Their spirits were bright even after waiting outside the restaurant for two hours to be seated.
“It’s my favorite Thai food, a hidden gem,” said Ruth Fabes. She and her husband are self-described foodies that have planned road trips around the United States with stops at locations featured on Food TV’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Across the parking lot, one group of friends had befriended another set of friends while patiently waiting for a table. They passed the time getting to know each other, playing cards and chatting about the restaurant.
“I’m here at least once a week, most weeks it’s more like three,” said Caitlin, a Clark local with an obvious affinity for Thailand.
No matter how long they had waited and how far they had traveled, there was a common theme in all of the patrons waiting and wishing to get into the restaurant.
“We’ve tried other Thai places, they just aren’t the same,” said Sharon of Linden as she waited for dinner with her friend Karen.
“It’s really authentic, you can’t get this kind of food anywhere else,” another bystander said as everyone gathered in front of the restaurant joined in the conversation.
By the end of the night, numerous friends and families had been turned away but even in their moment of rejection, they had kind wishes and warm words for the Gosinanond family as they exited the building.