PROVINCETOWN – The Monkey Bar Johnny Thai, in its 27th year as a Memorial Day to Labor Day business, will not open for the summer of 2020, said owner Johnny Pak.
Pak announced the closing on Tuesday on Facebook.
“When I posted that, in my mind, when I was watching the news, the way they were calculating things, just within a week it changed,” said Pak. “I try to be an optimist, but the major issue I see with it is that the nation is not locked down.”
With things already being cancelled in Provincetown, Pak said it appeared he would lose half the summer at least.
But his number one reason for not opening, he said, is “I’ve got twins, a year and a half old.” He does not want to expose his twins, a boy and a girl, to crowds until things are safe, he said.
Pak, who is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said he plans to stay there for the foreseeable future.
“Down here in Florida,” he said, “people are supposed to eat at home but they’re eating takeout… No one in these restaurants have been tested for the virus,” he said.
And as long as people continue to go out, he said, he will worry.
“In order for the virus to disappear,” said Pak, “people have to stay home.”
As for summer in Provincetown, he said, “It will be lost.”
“Provincetown is a place where people come to relax and have fun and enjoy yourself,” said Pak. “If you can’t be with crowds, why are you going there? If you can’t go out to dinner with friends, why are you going there?”
“The main thing really is safety,” he said. “Nobody knows too much about the virus. It’s killing healthy young people. It’s not just attacking the elderly.”
Pak is not just the owner. He is also the chef. “I’m there every single day from opening day,” he said. “I enjoyed seeing the same people the same week every year.”
“It’s a very difficult decision,” said Pak.
PHOTO AT TOP OF STORY BY DAVID NUGENT.
– Please like us on Facebook.
For our other coverage see Cape Cod Covidispatch
For more Provincetown stories.
–PLEASE SEE You Can’t Sell Right Field, a novel from Cape Cod Wave….A review from Goodreads:
“Brian Tarcy knows Cape Cod and captures the attitudes, quirks and idiosyncrasies of its diverse residents. Beneath the witty banter and self deprecating commentary is embedded the most serious issue of the peninsula of Cape Cod – Development. Cape Cod needs jobs and economic impetus, but at what cost? Will the drive to build houses destroy the very nature of the Cape? Will greed push environmental ruin and development obliterate the natural beauty that natives and tourists both crave? Tarcy builds his story around the lives of a softball team of life-long friends, townies who have taken different paths and have opposing visions for the town they love.”
I love this town, if I could I would buy a place and live there all year. I hope to be there next year.
I am very sorry to hear that . I respect your decision as it was made as parent , which I am not. On the other hand without hope , we are lost and Provincetown truly will not have a summer if business owners do not RE-open when the state of Ma deems it safe to do so. Spiritus is open serving my favorite slice of pizza.
I hope other restaurant and bars with outdoor space RE-open their doors and I pray for a warm , dry fall season for my hometown.
I moved down to Beautiful Puerto Vallarta Mexico , where I opened a large Airbnb property . Poised to have my best year yet , then …. the virus scare hit smack dab in the middle of our season and the town emptied out pretty much overnight with folks racing to go home to the US AND CANADA . it’s done a devastating effect here with only two known cases in town . I hope Vallarta can bounce back when thousands of locals who have so little to begin with now have zero … all us Gringos are pulling together and creating food banks and donations for service industry staff left in the dust .