Thai Jong restaurant in Augusta closing after 25 years

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After 25 years of serving Augusta diners, Thai Jong is closing its doors on Washington Road.

Tong and Lephuong Tran, the owners of Thai Jong, have decided to retire. The restaurant opened on Washington Road in 1989.  FILE
Tong and Lephuong Tran, the owners of Thai Jong, have decided to retire. The restaurant opened on Washington Road in 1989.

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The restaurant, serving Chinese and Thai dishes for lunch and dinner at 2810 Washington Road is scheduled to close July 12. Formerly a Taco Bell, the 2,000-square-foot building has housed Thai Jong since 1989.

Current owners Tong and Lephuong Tran took over the business in early 1990 and have decided to retire. The couple’s children are now grown, and working 14 hours a day, seven days a week, has taken took a toll on the Trans, Lephuong Tran said.

“We’re kind of tired and just trying to take it easy for a little bit,” Tran said.

As Vietnamese refugees, the Trans and their 3-year-old child moved to Augusta in 1980 with little belongings or knowledge of the English language. After Tong Tran was laid off from a factory job at the Graniteville Co. facility downtown, the Trans worked in kitchens of local Chinese restaurants until a family friend offered to sell them Thai Jong, Lephuong Tran said.

In the years since, the family has turned both its small staff and loyal customers into longtime friends. The restaurant currently has four part-time employees.

“I have really, really nice customers that eat here for 25 years,” Lephuong Tran said. “If people are still in Augusta, they still come and see us every week. Everybody feels like a family.”

Lephuong Tran said she and her husband plan to travel and visit family and friends in the foreseeable future, but didn’t rule out the possibility of getting back into the restaurant industry some day.

“It may be boring one day later, and we’ll open a restaurant again,” she said. “You never know.”

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jimmymac 07/03/14 - 07:44 pm

Countyman is going to have a fit when he hears about this.

nocnoc 07/03/14 - 07:51 pm
A great example of the American Dream

Came here with nothing, through hard work and saving, they ended up owning a business that employed locals and was profitable enough to support their families and etc....

Then I turn around and look at:
born here,
raised here, fed daily,
and pampered EBT types and wonder why I am looking at multiple generations of families on Government handouts?

corgimom 07/03/14 - 08:40 pm
nocnoc, I invite you to go to

nocnoc, I invite you to go to California, where so many of the Vietnamese went to. I invite you to go to the low-income areas. You will see Vietnamese people there on welfare too, some 2nd generation. You will see plenty of them with Section 8 housing, too.

There are good people and bad people of every race and every country.

The Mick
The Mick 07/04/14 - 01:20 am
Corgi I think you missed the

Corgi I think you missed the point. Nocnoc was noting and complimenting their hard work. He didn't mention race. Hard work is not genetically inherited in 1 race so it would be ridiculous to tie race in. I know it's hard for the left to accept, but race is not factored in to everything. But, it will get you elected! Keep pimpin!

bclicious 07/04/14 - 11:03 am
I've always enjoyed

I've always enjoyed this restaurant. Since I first came to this area because of the military, I have always felt a warm family atmosphere here. In 20 years, I never had a bad meal here.

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