Pavinee Ruangron, left, takes orders from behind the counter Thursday at Sumrub Thai Cookery at 164 Main St. in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

RICHMOND — Chonlathis Songprasert gives his wife, Pavinee Ruangron, credit for finding the location of their newest Thai restaurant. 

The couple, who own Ruby Thailand Cuisine in South Portland, found the location of their second restaurant while driving through central Maine.

“We drove through the town and was looking for a restaurant, or something, but it just has American food — ice cream, things like that, and some food in the gas station,” Songprasert, who also goes by Shawn Song, said. “I saw it as an opportunity to have Asian food, or Thai food, for people in town to have more of a choice.”

Ruangron found the spot at 164 Main St. in Richmond, a vacant restaurant space where Two Maine Guys got its start before opening in Augusta and eventually relocating there.

At the end of March, Two Maine Guys announced in a Facebook post it had sold its equipment in Richmond to a new Thai restaurant.

Less than a week later, Songprasert and Ruangron opened Sumrub Thai Cookery, featuring authentic Thai and fusion cuisine.


“I want to bring Thai food to Richmond for the customers to taste good Thai food,” Songprasert said.

Pavinee Ruangron, left, and Chonlathis Songprasert opened Sumrub Thai Cookery in Richmond earlier this month. The couple also run Ruby Thailand Cuisine in South Portland. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Richmond has established and longtime favorite restaurants with The Old Goat at 33 Main St. and Kimberly’s Restaurant & Lounge at 64 Main St.

Until Sumrub Thai Cookery opened, the town had had no Asian restaurant since the closure of China Rose, one of several restaurants to occupy 164 Main St. over the past decade.

With its opening, Sumrub Thai Cookery joins more than 3,300 restaurant locations across Maine, according to figures released by the National Restaurant Association.

The advocacy organization’s consumer national outlook, released earlier this month, projects that if the labor market remains healthy, consumers are expected to have the confidence and budget to continue spending in 2024.

In Richmond, reaction to the new restaurant has been positive. Early social media reviews of the restaurant have called the food the best in the area, which Songprasert said was his goal when opening the restaurant.


Several people on Facebook applauded their experience at the restaurant and said the food exceeded their expectations. Some mentioned they had gone to Sumrub Thai Cookery two or three times since it opened.

Songprasert said he has felt welcomed by the Richmond community and especially the reviews of his food.

“It’s been so much and crazy busy,” he said. “Everyone has supported us very well. They are nice people.”

Sumrub Thai Cookery, which offers dine-in or takeaway food, is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m.. It is closed Mondays.

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