Thai restaurant closing

Jun. 01, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

A High Point restaurant is closing its doors and moving north to a new location.
Husband and wife Todd and Tu Sen, along with other family members, opened Thai Chiang Mai Restaurant 15 years ago at 2209 N. Main St., featuring what was then the only Thai cuisine served in the city.
The building has fallen into disrepair and their lease is up, so the family decided the restaurant would be better off moving, Tu Sen said. They hope to open at 500 Americhase Drive, off N.C. 68 in Greensboro just north of High Point, as soon as next week.
“We are part of the community and we love the community here, but what we have to deal with is a lot already,” she said. “We want to thank the community for all the support over the years. We have a lot of loyal customers.”
Sen said the building’s heating system was broken all winter and that the restaurant had to use portable heaters. It’s also in need of a new air conditioning unit.
She said she would like the building’s owner, Alfred Ma, to make the repairs, but Ma said the terms of a contract he has with the Sens requires them to maintain the property. Sen said she understands the contract obligates her and her fellow restaurant owners to take care of maintenance, but they cannot afford to do so because of the state of the economy.
Ma said he gave them a break on the rent over the years with the understanding that they would be responsible for the building’s upkeep. He said he hopes to sell the building.
“I hate for them to move,” Ma said.
Sen and her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and James Sourisak, opened the restaurant together in 1998. The sisters are of Thai and Indian heritage, and grew up eating Thai cuisine.
“We’ve made a lot of great memories here. People have come in and seen the signs that we’re moving and just had tears in the their eyes. I’ve been crying with them,” she said.
They received clearance from health inspectors Friday to open the new location, Sen said. All seven of the restaurant’s employees will move with them to the new location.
And, she said, its High Point customers need not despair: They are planning to open a new restaurant called 98 Asian Bistro in the former Young Furniture building on North Main Street, possibly as early as September.