Last week, Austin diners learned of the surprising and sudden closure of well regarded 16 month-old SPIN Modern Thai this past Saturday. Now, Kenny Pailes of Austin Chronicle interviews chefs Ek Timrerk and Thai Changtong to find out what happened. The reason turns out to be their funding.
Owners Alphonso Dryer and Kuantan Vo paid for the restaurant with high-interest rate loans they took out from private lenders. These loans coupled with a faulty gas line that leaked three times, necessitating costly repairs and closure, cost the restaurant more money than it could afford. The outcome was a surprise to the chefs who were unaware of the restaurant's financial situation.
As for his next move, Chef Ek plans to help his sister, Titaya, of Titaya's Thai Cuisine re-open her restaurant. It closed last year to be remodeled and to give Titaya a break from the relentless work of operating a restaurant. Chef Ek hopes that the renovated Titaua's will be open by late September. Chef Thai was less candid, declining to name the restaurant, but saying that he would be working in a celebrated Austin establishment. Despite SPIN's closure, both chefs remain hopeful that they will run their own kitchen in the future.
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· SPIN Modern Thai to Shutter After Dinner Saturday [~EATX~]