Despite its recognition and acclaim for serving delicious, authentic Thai cuisine, the Thai House in Hettinger suddenly closed its doors indefinitely on Saturday, Dec. 30th, 2017.
By Andy Roehl
Jonathan Leodhuvaphan, manager and chef, who opened Thai House only four months prior, made the announcement:
“I’m sorry to bring bad news into the new year. Thai House is closing down due to it being hard to find skilled chefs in Thai food. My dad, who helps in the kitchen, is going back to Thailand next month and I will be moving back to Michigan until I am ready to open again with a full staff.”
With over 15 years of cooking under his belt, Leodhuvaphan brought a unique taste to Hettinger that will be sorely missed by many. Thai House offered a luscious menu bringing far east flavor to our community that strived for high quality and satisfaction. The experience was different, exquisite and brought something brand new to the table (no pun intended).
In its short run, Thai House was heavily praised for its distinction in style and delectable food. As of its closing, Thai House holds a solid 5-star status on Facebook. A Yelp.com reviewer awarded Thai House the highest rating and commended the restaurant for having such fantastic, authentic food “in a place like Hettinger”. He also commented that he hopes Thai House receives its much-deserved business to stay alive.
Although, Leodhuvaphan commented on the potential of Thai House re-opening, it isn’t a guarantee. Being a small town, Hettinger loses yet another business that really adds variety and character to not only the restaurant scene, but the overall flavor of the community as well (no pun intended). Summer of 2017 saw the closing of Taqueria El Pueblo, a Mexican restaurant, after only being in business for just over a year. Both establishments seemingly held qualities that one would expect would solidify them as successful restaurants for years to come. However, wherein lies the fatal issue? If its not the atmosphere, the quality, the food, then what is it? One can only ask such questions in these circumstances when these types of new businesses have such a short lifespan.
Upon announcing the closing of his business, Leodhuvaphan extended a heartfelt thank you to the community:
“Thank you, Hettinger for your support, trying out my food, giving positive reviews and showing me love! I had a wonderful time here in Hettinger, I hope Thai House will be back in the near future! Happy New Year, May God Bless you in 2018!”