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Seattle's popular Tup Tim Thai closing to make way for apartment complex

The popular Uptown restaurant is closing after more than 30 years.

SEATTLE — New apartment complexes are being built throughout Seattle. But one in particular is forcing a popular restaurant to pack up and close. 

The faded Tup Tim Thai sign isn't fading away just yet with more than 33 years of love from customers throughout the Seattle area. 

"Some customers, we saw them come with their parents. Now they're married, they got their own family. We are kind of like a big family," said Nat Chien, the owner of Tup Tim Thai. 

But Chien is being forced to close up shop Dec. 18. A closure in the making since 2019 when his landlord told him that they were planning on building an eight-story tall apartment complex. Chien said due to the pandemic the project was delayed several times. 

Deborah Frausto with Uptown Alliance, a volunteer-based group in the neighborhood, said they're strong supporters of businesses in the neighborhood but also try to work with developers to ensure the neighborhood continues to grow.  

"We have the opportunity to really have discussions with developers to help them understand about the neighborhood, so they don't just plop something down," Frausto said.  

Frausto said she's heartbroken by the Tup Tim Thai's closure, along with other customers.  

"I’ve tried pad Thai at other places but it's just not the same, you know,” one customer said. “So, I don't know, I’ll probably never eat pad Thai again.” 

But it's not goodbye forever. Chien is hoping to open another restaurant at some point in the future. 

"Yes, I have my plan to have Tup Tim Thai back again," he said. 

Until he finds different location for the restaurant, he will be working at another Thai restaurant – Orrapin Thai in upper Queen Anne on Boston Street.