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Another Restaurant Announced To Close Its Doors Permanently

After shutting its doors for more than a month this winter because of a medical emergency, Thai restaurant Esaan announced Friday that it will close for good this weekend.

In a post on its Facebook page, the owner of the Portland restaurant said that its last day of service would be this Sunday.

“This decision was a difficult one to make with our journey from our small takeout place that thrived through the pandemic and a few obstacles along the way,” the post said. “We want to thank all of our wonderful guests that have chosen us to be a part of their family through the years. We are extremely humbled that so many embraced our restaurant and that we were able to succeed as long as we had.”
Esaan was forced to close in early February when Siwaporn Roberts, owner Ben Boonseng’s mother and the restaurant’s only chef, was taken to the Northern Light Mercy Hospital emergency room with abdominal pain.

Roberts underwent gallbladder surgery. She was released from the hospital but returned just days later because she had started to suffer acute pancreatitis, for which she was also treated, then eventually released.

By March, Boonseng had found a cook to work the kitchen while his mother recuperated. A friend of the family launched a GoFundMe page to help Esaan cover bills, rent and food costs until Roberts was fully ready to return to work, but the site only raised $675 of its $10,000 goal as of Friday.

The restaurant first launched as Thai Esaan on Forest Avenue in 2016, though a fire damaged that building in late 2021, forcing it to close. It reopened at 65 Portland St. in the former home of Back Bay Grill in March 2023.

Boonseng did not immediately return a phone call or email seeking an interview Friday afternoon.