2021 | Dine

Bangkok Garden closing in Bethesda after 37 years

Rockville location will remain open

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Bangkok Garden in Bethesda is closing after 37 years at the end of this month.

Photo by Dan Schere

Bangkok Garden, a Thai restaurant in downtown Bethesda for 37 years, will close at the end of the month. Another location in Rockville will stay open.

The restaurant, at 4906 St. Elmo Ave., will close on Aug. 29, Nina Laohapant, the owner of the Rockville location, posted on Facebook Monday.

Laohapant’s grandparents opened Bangkok Garden in 1984, she told Bethesda Beat on Monday. After they died, her father, uncle and aunt took over the restaurant.

Laohapant said on Monday that her family decided that now is a good time to retire.

“It’s been a long time coming. They’ve been getting older and I think it was just the right time for them,” she said. “They wanted to seek new ventures while they’re still capable. It was just something that had been in the works.”

Laohapant said restaurant work can be demanding, and “ultimately, they just needed a break.”

Bangkok Garden stayed busy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

Her family’s restaurant wasn’t “totally affected by it because of that loyal customer base,” she said.

Laohapant’s uncle, Ricky, has become “the face” of the Bethesda restaurant, she said. She thinks customers will miss him.

“He’s been there every single day. If you go to Bangkok Garden Bethesda often enough, you’ll see Ricky behind the bar. All of his customers know him. It’s been a great run for them, honestly. They’re walking away from this very grateful,” she said.

Nina Laohapant is the sole owner of Bangkok Garden’s Rockville restaurant at 891 Rockville Pike. That restaurant will stay open, she said.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com