The Pattaya seafood restaurant that became famous for its “Good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to Pattaya” sign is shutting down, but not before blasting the “bad guys” in government the owner blames for its demise.
In a lengthy and widely shared Facebook post, the anonymous son of 67-year-old Premrudee Jittivuthikarn, the owner of King Seafood on Walking Street, blamed both Covid-19 and a “corrupt government” for the closure of the Pattaya institution.
“We gave up,” he wrote, noting that it is hoped the shutdown is temporary. “Since we reopened in August, we have carried losses with the hope everything would improve, but it didn’t. With this new outbreak, we have lost all energy and encouragement.”
During Pattaya’s 2020 shutdown, King Seafood donated 30,000 boxed meals to the city’s unemployed and needy. Premrudee’s son said many people praised King Seafood and promised to eat at the Walking Street restaurant when it reopened. But they never did, he said.
Some blamed the lack of parking. Others said they didn’t want to be seen on seedy Walking Street. A few complained King’s prices were higher than seafood restaurants outside of town. “We just stayed patient and did what we could to survive,” he wrote.
Premrudee’s son blames “corrupt” government officials for allowing migrant laborers to illegally enter the country and bring the coronavirus with them from hard-hit Myanmar or for turning a blind eye to underground casinos that turned into Covid-19 superspreaders.
Being ordered to close before New Year’s Eve really damaged the business, he wrote. Had King Seafood been allowed to remain open through the holiday, the owners would have had power and encouragement to carry on, he wrote.
“Now, without support from the government, we have no choice but to close.”