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Thai street food restaurant is closing; owner Andy Ricker announced Friday on Instagram, 'I am licked.'

PMG FILE PHOTO - Pok Pok owner Andy Ricker in better times when he was planning to turn the old Humdinger Drive-In into a Pok Pok Wing. Ricker just announced Pok Pok will not reopen after the pandemic.

The recession has taken another large bite out of the Portland food scene. It's official: The original Pok Pok restaurant on Southeast Division Street and Pok Pok Wing will not reopen after the pandemic ends.

Ricker wrote @pokpokPDX: "I swore when Pok Pok opened that if it ever reached the point where it was all about profit and loss, I would shut it down and walk away. … I have far too much respect and love for the food and culture of Thailand for it to be solely about the commercial aspects of the business. (F---) that. So when COVID made it ALL about the bottom line that was my cue to pull the plug."

Ricker said he would have to go into debt to survive.

Recently, because of COVID-19, none of the Pok Pok restaurants were open except a partnership with Neighborhood Kitchens for wings in Portland and Pok Pok Wing in Las Vegas. Pok Pok opened in 2005 and Ricker became the darling of The New York Times and Splendid Table foodie set, generating buzz for the city and attracting tourist dollars.

Ricker, who now spends most of the year in northern Thailand, added, "Holding onto hope for some sort of resurrection post-COVID was so tempting. … But I know when I am licked. And I am licked."

The Division Street location is for sale, "lock, stock and (literal) fish sauce barrel."

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