Ruan Thai, a staple on the Tuscaloosa Strip for three decades, will serve its last customers Saturday before permanently closing.

The locally owned Thai restaurant and sushi bar has been long loved for its fresh ingredients, daily specials and quaint atmosphere, but its head chef Alp Yeager took to Facebook Tuesday morning to announce the restaurant will permanently close on February 20th.

"We would like to thank every single one of our customers who have supported us: those who were there from the very beginning, those who decided to “venture out” and try something new, those who had faith in us, those who kept coming back, and everyone else in between," Yeager said in a post announcing the decision.

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The restaurant first opened in 1991 as the Siam House and billed itself as Tuscaloosa's first Thai eatery.

They closed in 2002 but reopened in 2006 in response to customer demand, this time as Ruan Thai, and for 15 years have continued serving students, residents and visitors alike on their little hill on the Tuscaloosa Strip.

Now, 30 years since they first opened, Yeager has made the difficult decision to permanently close after serving her last patrons this Saturday.

"Thank you to you all; it means the world to small business owners like me, and it is a wonderful feeling to have been able to share a part of Thailand with people from Tuscaloosa, nearby, and afar," Yeager wrote. "We wish everyone well-being, safety, happiness, and good health. Please check our website and Facebook page for further information."

Read Yeager's entire heartfelt message below, and stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more information on what will come next to that historic space on the Strip as it becomes available.

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