Lao Restaurant in US Forced to Close Due to Death Threats

Lao Restaurant in US Forced to Close Due to Death Threats
Tasty Thai, located on First Street near Belmont Avenue in Fresno. ( Photo : CRAIG KOHLRUSS )

Tasty Thai, a Lao and Thai takeout restaurant located in Belmont Avenue, Fresno, California was forced to shut down after they received death threats on allegations of serving dog meat to customers.

David Rasavong, the owner, took to social media to announce the closure of his restaurant which had only been open for six months.

“After much thought and consideration, we, as a family, have decided to close this location of Tasty Thai due to all the threats and harassment… Safety has been and will always be our main priority,” David told local media.

The allegations started in May when a woman named Maria Alvarez Garcia took a video of a pitbull tied up at a home located next to the restaurant claiming that the animal was being abused. Since its front paws were tied together and the dog had no water kept near it, she thought would suffer from heat stroke.

Fresno Police later visited the home, which belong to an Asian family, and said the dog was not being abused. Garcia put up more videos alleging abuse and commenters started saying that someone was eating the dogs, and since the restaurant was nearby it led to the assumption that they were serving dog meat in their premises. 

Despite a complete lack of evidence, the restaurant soon started receiving death threats and other negative comments on social media and via phone calls shortly after, and people started leaving negative reviews and comments on Google and as well.

“Tasty Thai does not serve dogs,” said David, a longtime restaurateur who has been in the industry for more than 20 years. He was deeply offended by the allegations against him.

“Just because we’re an Asian restaurant? That’s disgusting,” said David who himself owns two dogs, a maltipoo and bichon frise.

“As immigrants, it has always been my parents’ dream to pass on the richness and traditions of our culture. They’ve always done that through food and service to the community,” he added

“We are currently looking at a couple of options to relocate and open a new Tasty Thai in order to continue my parents’ dream,” David said.