Orlando restaurant pleads for support, struggles with aftershocks of COVID-19 lockdowns

Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria is asking for help from the community

ORLANDO, Fla. – When COVID-19 appeared, it shook everybody.

Pom Moongauklang, the owner of Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria, is pleading with the community to support her businesses after lockdown policies crippled the economy.

“When [COVID-19] came, it shook everybody,” Moongauklang said.

Ever since the world was shaken by the pandemic, she said business hasn’t been the same, and she’s trying her best to keep the doors to her restaurant open.

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The food she serves is known for its fusion flavors.

The restaurant doors have been open for 17 years, and Moongauklang hopes to keep them open.

“It’s been very rewarding. We’ve got to see families grow up,” Moongauklang said.

The owner said the toughest thing she’s had to do is make this post on Facebook asking the community to patronize her business.

Moongauklang said the post was prompted by the lack of customers who came to Pom Pom’s last Friday.

“When I saw that only seven people came in during dinner time, that broke my heart, and I knew right then and there that it was time,” she said.

Moongauklang said the thought of being forced to shutter the doors has crossed her mind.

“It weighs heavy on me because what am I gonna do? This is something that I’ve learned or known for 17 years, and it would be very difficult for me to close,” she said.

Multiple businesses in Metro-Orlando have closed, including Ace Café downtown.

Closure sign outside of the Ace Cafe in downtown Orlando (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

It abruptly shut down leaving this sign behind.

Fine dining restaurant Le Coq Au Vin also served its last meal two weeks ago after 50 years of service.

“I know that a lot of restaurants went through that,” Moongauklang said. “That’s heartbreaking.”

The owner of Pom Pom’s said she lost a lot of staff during the pandemic and downsized her menu.

She said she heard customers loud and clear about their opposition to the downsized menu and will be returning to a full menu this week.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.