Corona crushed Thoni’s dream of an authentic village Thai food restaurant in Denmark

Before Thoni Suwansri opened Thoni’s Thai Take Away in Storegade, he served Thai street food around West Jutland. Photo: Sebastian Engelberth Hansen

Thoni Suwansri’s local Thai restaurant was only open to guests for less than two months before a new corona shutdown meant the restaurant was limited to only offering takeaway. Now after almost two months of lockdown Thoni’s dream is crushed and he has put his restaurant up for sale.

30-year-old Thoni Suwansri came to Denmark with his mother when he was seven years old and they both share a love for authentic Thai food. Not Thai food adjusted to Danish taste buds but real authentic village Thai food and despite some customers thinking it is a little too spicy, the idea has been received well.

Since October last year, Thoni has been running his Thai restaurant, Thoni’s Thai Take Away, with the help of his mother on the weekends in the little town of Tarm in west Jutland, Denmark. Before that, the duo was driving a converted caravan serving Thai street food around West Jutland but Thoni decided to facilitate his dream of a restaurant in the late fall of 2020. Despite the restaurant’s name, the idea was not only to serve takeaway but also to have tables so people could enjoy their Thai food in the restaurant.

The corona shutdown in Denmark from December however, has created problems for Danish restaurants, including Thoni’s Thai Take Away and now Thoni has had to face the facts and realize that now is not the time to run a restaurant.

Thoni says in an interview with JydskeVestkysten that although talks of a lockdown were underway when he opened the restaurant, he had never expected a lockdown to continue for so long and involve such strict corona restrictions.

Since the opening in October, he has worked 10 hours a day Friday to Sunday in the restaurant alongside his full-time job at Vestas Monday to Friday and the workload has been too much. The original plan for Thoni was to be able to hire an employee to help with his workload but the lockdown has made that impossible. He adds that that the business is going well and the income is also good but because of the long lockdown he can not afford to hire an employee so he have had to choose what is best for his family life. 

He explains that it has been very difficult for him to give up his dream and sell the restaurant but adds that he has not given up his desire to being independent and dreams about owning his own restaurant or business in the future. Until the restaurant is sold, Thoni’s Thai Takeaway remains open at least until September when his lease runs out.

Bamboo, green curry and noodles, together with the marinated meat, are some of the ingredients that are used diligently. Photo: Sebastian Engelberth Hansen

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