The owner of the UK’s oldest Thai restaurant says she is heartbroken after learning they will have to close.
Thailand’s Guildford Crescent home, which employs 40 people, has been told by its landlord – Reports – who has offices in Cardiff and London, that his lease will not be renewed, meaning he will have to vacate his premises in ‘by the end of January. .
It appeared that the owner wanted to demolish the entire block – which also includes Madeira and Gwdihw – before the council’s proposal to protect it with conservation area status was passed.
The restaurant was opened in 1985 by Noi Ramasut from Bangkok and his Welsh wife Arlene Thomas.
Their daughter Tamsin Ramasut, who now owns the restaurant, says the family business is thriving, but by the end of January they will be homeless, leaving staff with an uncertain future.
“It’s really difficult,” she said. “We were told we had to close in the New Year and vacate the premises by the end of January.
“We have been in Guildford Crescent for over 20 years and in the city for 33 years.
She claimed the area around Guildford Crescent was run down when they moved in.
She said that next to the Madeira restaurant and the Gwdihw concert hall, which are also due to close, they have regenerated the area.
“The building was derelict when we took it over,” she said.
“My dad helped regenerate that whole corner when he opened up there.
“We have spent a lot of our own money to invest in the business and together with Madeira and Gwdihw we have brought this corner of Cardiff back to life.”
She said despite protests to the owner that their business was thriving, their calls fell on deaf ears.
“We’ve done our best to stress that business is booming and that we want to stay, but the owner obviously has other plans for the area.
Today, the 40 employees Tamsin calls “his family” do not know if they will have a job on New Year’s Day.
“We have had to tell our staff, many of whom have been with us for a long time, that their jobs are in danger. “
She added: “We have nowhere to move. We searched, but it is difficult to find a suitable location for an independent business in the city center.
“What gives a city its character are its independent businesses. You take them out of town and what is left with you, a town that looks like everywhere else.
The news comes as Gwdihw, who also belongs to the Ramasut family, announced it was shutting down.
A statement read: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we will close our doors on Guildford Crescent at the end of January.
“Our landlords made the decision not to renew our lease – despite, or perhaps because of, Cardiff Council’s proposal to grant Guildford Crescent Protected Conservation Area status – and so on January 30, we have to go.
“We would like to thank everyone who has made Gwdihŵ an incredibly special place over the past 10 years. From all the promoters who put on such magical shows and lively club nights, to the talented musicians who graced our colorful little stage .
“Finally, a big thank you to all of our staff and customers past and present. Really, the best thing about Gwdihŵ is how family it is and we are so lucky to have had such friendly and supportive people. . family.
“However, this is not the end for us. We are looking to bear the Gwdihŵ name in 2019, so we urge anyone who may offer a space or contribute in any way to contact us through social media or by email to [email protected]
“We hope to see you as much as possible over the next few weeks before closing to celebrate the past 10 years, so come and party with us one last time on Guildford Crescent. Thanks for all the time Gwd!”
Neighboring restaurant Madeira, also threatened with closure, recently opened a second restaurant in the city center on St Mary Street, but its restaurant Guildford Crescent, which has been in existence for over 20 years, remains very popular.
The owner and Cardiff Council have been approached for comment.
A petition titled Save Gwdihŵ and Guildford Crescent has been launched which urges the owner to reconsider his decision. It can be viewed HERE and is available on all social platforms via @SaveGwdihw