Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:
You’ve got to love this. Remember back in May when the Erie Downtown Development Corporation announced they would not renew the leases of three North Park Row restaurants? Khao Thai, Casablanca Hookah Lounge and Cafe, and Tandoori Hut Indian Cuisine would need to reestablish their businesses at new locations when their leases expire this coming October.
Relocating a small business is not the easiest thing to do, so the move understandably touched off a spirited conversation about who gets to stay and who has to leave when a city (or in this case a non-governmental entity, the EDDC) pours resources into remaking their downtown. While the EDDC owns the property and so can do whatever they want, kicking three immigrant-owned, downtown businesses out with a mere few months’ notice seemed tone-deaf.
As of this week, at least one of the three has found a new home. Khao Thai, the successful restaurant operated by co-owners Sombath and Jessica Inthavong and Douang Chay since 2014, will be moving to 2430 West 8th Street in Millcreek. They will have another chance to pursue the American dream of owning their own business, being their own boss, supplying others with paychecks, and providing delicious meals in the style of their homeland.
There is no word yet on when Khao Thai will open at their new spot, but it sounds like they’ll need to be ready for a packed house, whenever that may be. I know I, for one, will be watching for the date and rooting for their continued success.