Thai House Owner: Main Street Unappetizing [International Flavors of Smithtown]

Restaurateur says blight, drab business base is keeping him from buying his building.

Despite operating a successful businesses on Main Street, the owner of said he doesn't know how much longer he can swallow the blighted properties and lack of destinations along Smithtown's center.

It's that quandary that has kept restaurant owner Allen Holmquist from spending the $989,000 to buy the building, which his landlord recently put on the market.

“[Main Street is] physically unattractive, [it’s a] decaying block, most of the stores are vacant,” he said. “Obviously people coming down to this area see that and it just gives an overall sense that the area is decaying. It’s not a vibrant area.”

Smithtown Patch has been chronicling the glut of vacant properties that are plaguing Main Street, and has seen similar points made by readers.

But it's not just blight that has Holmquist concerned. Main Street lacks the attractions that other Long Island towns such as Sayville, Huntington and Port Jefferson, have to make them destinations, he said.

“They are almost a magnet for people,” he said. “Smithtown downtown is not that situation.”

The Town of Smithtown has offered up , including the near the train station, but so far no programs have tackled the problem of Main Street vacancies.

One exception, however, is a recent announcement that the town plans to demolish a former auto dealer at 10 East Main Street . Comments on Patch, however, suggest the community was hoping for a better destination business than a masonry shop.

Holmquist said Thai House has grown in the four years it’s been open, but would only consider investing in property locally if there was an economic turnaround and Main Street became more physically attractive.

Adjacent to his restaurant is a former lumberyard, and not having them shipped out as lumber from it. The former near his restaurant.

Thai House, known for its good lunch value and for being one of the few restaurants in the area serving staples such as Pad Thai, rich coconut curries and spicy soups, isn't the only Asian eatery with local business concerns. The owner of Korean barbecue restaurant . In that case, the owner blamed the town for making the permit process too difficult for him to expand.

Matt(easy like Sunday morning) January 20, 2012 at 01:19 AM
No, the vote to expand the library was a Rig*ed SC*M and apparently the budget process is flawed and valuable resources squandered on this old book repository. As noted by some on this site many don't vote and those that do have a vested interest and direct benefit in the entity passing it's budget. If that changes all future Smithtown Library budgets will fail and ultimately a new slat of trustees will be elected to reform, consolidate and close branches.
rOBIN mAGLIATO January 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Smithtown Resident . I agree Vecchio must go . He has done nothing in the passed 18 years to help this town. A main street is not just good restaurants. You need other shops, friendly parking , and a town that works to bring that. Smithtown has many residents that don't vote and therefore don't care
Sara January 23, 2012 at 09:03 PM
That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
E Baum March 06, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Parking is a critcal issue. We love the Thai House, but where does one park? All the stores need acessible parking as was created behind Butera's. Also, I seem to recall that rather recently a little eatery was about to open on lawrence Ave????? but before it even opened, it closed up because dealing with "the town" was too difficult. Smithtown must be more business friendly with peermits, paperwork and parking.
E Baum March 06, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Geeeze, such vitriol about the library. At least you can cast a vote at budget time. It really seems to service an awful lot of our community members and has a lot more things going on than just housing "old" books. Get your money's worth and try using what the library has to offer.


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