For Khao Thai Restaurant co-owner Doungchay Phetsavahn, the past three years have been filled with ups and downs.

In 2019, the restaurant moved from downtown Erie to its current West 8th Street location in Millcreek.

Ever since, business has been booming.

"We were doing very, very good from the beginning,” said Phetsavahn. “We are still doing good."

However, throughout the pandemic and even now, finding employees has been a challenge.

"We are very happy to be here, but ever since the pandemic started, our employees literally left us." said Phetsavahn.

According to Phetsavahn, the older generation of owners are ready to retire, while the younger owners are busy raising families and working full time jobs outside of the restaurant, so they have decided to close in the near future.

"This is a great place,” said Phetsavahn. “We just don't have enough hands on, that's the reason our doors will be closed."

Phetsavahn hopes to sell the restaurant to a new owner.

“If anybody or anyone would like to take over, the Khao Thai, please let us know,” said Phetsavahn. “I'm even willing to share my recipe with anyone who is willing to take over."

Phetsavahn thanks the community for the ongoing support.

“Believe it or not, I became the customer's friend,” said Phetsavahn. “When they see me, they know my name and it's going to be tough on me, but what can I do? What can I say? it is what it is."

As of right now, it’s unclear exactly when the restaurant will close.

This story is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.