Eleven months ago, news broke that Arun’s—the iconic Albany Park Thai fine-dining restaurant—would soon end a 30-year-run. Owner Arun Sampanthavivat intended to sell the building while the restaurant continued to operate in the interim. Those plans have been altered, as Sampanthavivat told Chicago that he will keep the restaurant going and renovate. He’ll temporary close Arun’s on Jan. 1 when crews will begin work and unleash an improved restaurant, hopefully in February.
The shutter will last around five weeks. Sampanthavivat has brought on a new investor and the changes will affect both the space and the food. The new menus should feature healthier, organic items. Diners will have an option of a 10-course or 12-course menu, and they’ll solely offer prix fixe service. Arun’s will also upgrade their wine program.
Sampanthavivat will once again don his chef’s apron and take over the kitchen, according to Chicago. He also runs the much more affordable Taste of Thai Town which he opened in 2015 about a mile and a half west from Arun’s. Arun’s was once considered best in its class, making the restaurant with a modest-looking exterior a Chicago fine-dining destination. But as time marched on, many feared the restaurant lost some of its luster. Perhaps the improvements will restore some of that shine to one of the city’s most-beloved restaurants.