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Uncle Boons
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Uncle Boons, beloved modern Thai restaurant, is permanently closed

One of the city's best Thai restaurants showcased the Southeast Asian country's cuisine without watering down its recipes.

Bao Ong

Ever since opening in 2013, diners packed into Ann Redding and Matt Danzer’s Nolita restaurant Uncle Boons. The chefs set a stage—one filled with vintage posters and some tiki bar touches—that showcased modern Thai dishes without watering them down. New Yorkers ate it up; they loved the complex (and often fiery) dishes served in the laid back, fun environment.

That all came to a halt in mid March and now Redding and Danzer have decided to close the restaurant permanently after not reaching an agreement with their landlord.

“COVID-19 has rocked our industry to the core, and we a small, family-owned business are no more immune to the realities that threaten restaurants, than any other shop,” they posted on the restaurant’s Instagram page.

Here’s the full statement below:

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A post shared by Uncle Boons (@uncleboons) on

Uncle Boons helped pave the way for Southeast Asian restaurants across the city. The married couple showed there was a demand for something more than your run-of-the-mill Thai takeout, and that curries, noodle soups and even fried rice could be cooked with modern touches without compromising authenticity. They eventually were rewarded with a Michelin star. Today, New York has a number of Asian restaurants with a similar MO: Ugly Baby (Time Out’s best restaurant in New York) in Carroll Gardens, Wayla in the Lower East Side and Soothr in the East Village are just a few.

Uncle Boons
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Fans of Uncle Boons can still order similar dishes at their takeout joint Uncle Boons Sister. Redding and Danzer said they’ll be shifting their focus to Thai Diner, which already was popular for its mashup of Thai and American diner classics even though it was open for less than a month before all New York restaurants had to shut down indoor dining.

Uncle Boons
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Uncle Boons
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

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