Mainstreet Daily News, in a collaboration with Noel Leroux, founder of Gainesville Downtown, is spotlighting downtown businesses to learn how each one is coping with the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation.
The area's first Cambodian restaurant, Prum's Kitchen, barely had time to get established before the coronavirus pandemic arrived. The little restaurant at 6 S. Main St., in the building formerly occupied by Manuel's Vintage Room, had just opened in January and was drawing diners interested in a new cuisine featuring traditional beef and chicken skewers as well as Ba-Bong, a noodle dish with stir-fried beef and onions.
The eatery recently added Phnom Penh Noodles and Loc Lac to its menu options.
"Business is tremendously slow now," said Bo Prum, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Leanna. "However, many of the people who were our loyal customers have continued to support us, and we are grateful."
Prum's Kitchen is now take-out and delivery only. The restaurant hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 5-9 p.m. and Monday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Customers can call in orders for pickup at 352.792.6274. Delivery services include Uber Eats, Bite Squad and Byppo.
On Tuesday evening, Prum's Kitchen got two new customers when Supreeya Saengchote and boyfriend Jordan Turetsky, both 26, parked their bicycles outside the restaurant. Saengchote, from Orlando, was born in Thailand. Her parents own a restaurant in Ocoee called Bangkok Thai Passion. Supreeya said she was excited to try Cambodian food.
"It's something close to Thai food that I haven't had," she said. "I haven't seen a Cambodian restaurant in Orlando, so I was surprised [to see one in Gainesville]." Supreeya and Jordan then took their food to Depot Park to enjoy a sunset picnic.
Seeing two young people interested in his restaurant's food brought a smile to Bo Prum's face. Then he added: "We just want to send a message to the community that we are here for them."
Noel Leroux is the publisher of gainesvilledowntown.com, a website dedicated to covering all things downtown. His mission is to inform, entertain and engage readers with compelling articles about arts, entertainment, and the foodie scene in Gainesville.