To stop the ‘bleeding,’ Bangkok’s trailblazing ‘Bo.lan’ calls it quits

A file photo of chefs Duanporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones of Bo.lan. Photo: Bo.lan / Courtesy
A file photo of chefs Duanporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones of Bo.lan. Photo: Bo.lan / Courtesy

An influential restaurant at the vanguard of Thai fine dining in Bangkok is saying goodbye.

After more than a decade in business, chefs Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava and Dylan Jones announced on Monday that they are shutting their pioneering fine dining restaurant Bo.lan.

The couple partly blamed the closure to the Thai government’s response to COVID-19 crisis in Thailand since the third-wave outbreak led to a blanket ban on dining-in.

The “utter lack of financial and political support for small business owners (and in particular our hospitality industry) has certainly contributed to our decision to call it a day,” Bo and Dylan wrote.  

A file photo of chefs Duanporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones of Bo.lan. Photo: Bo.lan / Courtesy
A file photo of chefs Duanporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones of Bo.lan. Photo: Bo.lan / Courtesy

The closure of Bo.lan was not utterly shocking, however. Bo told Coconuts Bangkok in a recent interview that business had suffered greatly since the first lockdown in mid-2020 due to a lack of foreigners, her main target, and lack of government support. She said she had to keep the business going with her own funds.

“We have been bleeding and right now we need to stop the bleed,” Bo said in an interview in September. “In the case of COVID-19, I’m not really optimistic about it … People said the only hope now is vaccines, but when the time comes, how many people will get access to them?”

Bo.lan opened their doors 13 years ago, taking Thai fine dining to another level with their focus on ancient Thai recipes, uncompromising flavors and sustainability. The restaurant rose to fame, becoming a stalwart in annual guides, annually earning Michelin stars. Famously, the couple was featured in the Netflix Chef’s Table anthology. 

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