Hitchin Thai restaurant Sukawatee to relocate within Hermitage Road

Sukawatee owner Nick Clark with his staff outside the restaurant in Hitchin earlier this year. Pictu

Sukawatee owner Nick Clark with his staff outside the restaurant in Hitchin earlier this year. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Hitchin’s only Thai restaurant is to close its doors this weekend – but only temporarily, ahead of a move to new Hermitage Road premises.

It had been feared that Thai and Malaysian restaurant Sukawatee, a favourite of many Hitchin families, might close amid a plan to turn the site into a shop with flats over it.

The management announced through social media yesterday that the restaurant would close on Sunday, November 26, before reopening a couple of doors up at 88 Hermitage Road – slightly nearer the junction with Bancroft.

The new premises were previously occupied by Italian restaurant Cantina, which was run by Sukawatee owner Nick Clark’s daughter.

Nick told the Comet yesterday: “She had to close because the rates made it unviable, but that meant we already had the lease there – so we asked the landlord if we could move Sukawatee in there. He’s agreed, but the freehold owner still has to agree.”

The whole thing could take a while, and we’ll have to have builders and plumbers and so on in before we can reopen – but we’re hoping to be open again in the spring,”

The new Sukawatee will be bigger, with 54 covers instead of the current 36.

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Nick says it will also have a more modern feel, with an urban theme – though he and the team intend to keep the restaurant’s friendly ambience after moving.

“It’s very pally here, and it shouldn’t lose that,” he said.

“Our customers have told us they’re pleased, as they thought they’d be losing us forever. If we hadn’t had this come up, we might have had to leave Hitchin.

“One customer has asked if we can still do takeaways after we close! We’ve been really busy this week because people know we’re closing and they’ve been coming in for their ‘last supper’, as it were.

“We’d just like to thank all our loyal customers for their support, and we hope to see them back as soon as we’re open again.”

Sukawatee’s clientele expressed delight online after Sunday’s announcement, with one writing in response: “So glad that you have survived this, was so worried we were going to lose a lovely restaurant with lovely people.”

Fabio Vincenti, of Fabio’s Gelato, quipped: “Great news! Can’t wait to have you opposite us, means we won’t have to walk as far for dinner.”