Editor’s note: Richard Glasgow, owner and cook behind kBird, recently confirmed that he’d decided to close his beloved Thai restaurant in Hillcrest.
“‘Know, friend Sancho,’ answered Don Quixote, ‘that the life of knights-errant is subject to a thousand dangers and reverses … ‘“ — Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The lease expires at the end of the month. I just can’t do it anymore — not in the way I want it to be done. The daily wear and tear has proven too much 10 years in. I still want to cook, but it is time to move on from the building and day-to-day operation.
For 10 years I got to pretend I was my literary hero, Senor Don Quixote de la Mancha. Distressed by his current state of affairs, he created in his mind a world that replaced the one in which others live. A world based on the old way of doing things, in his mind a testament to the virtue of times gone by.
kBird was my world within the world. A reaction to the fundamental sadness of the corporate form and of economies of scale, and a reflection of my authentic self in restaurant form. To have eventually seen success and been granted the support of so many wonderful people is and will always be the most rewarding work experience of my life. I am so grateful.
I am grateful for a group of extraordinary co-conspirators, without whom kBird as a restaurant would have failed spectacularly. Somebody has to not be freaking out, and it certainly wasn’t gonna be me. That there were only 10 employees in 10 years, with many working two years or more, speaks to the quality of those individuals. And to their patience in dealing with me as their boss. Sorry, guys — thanks and love you.
I am grateful to the family-owned vendors who supplied us throughout our operation. The relationships we built after all these years — and personal visits — are as valuable to me as any I have made here in Little Rock.
I am grateful for all the folks who enjoyed our food and for all the friends we made. You guys made it all possible. I will miss our interactions and hope to run into you from time to time.
I am grateful to those in the local Thai community who enjoyed and supported what we did. That kBird would properly handle your food customs and tradition was the imperative of the restaurant and spurred us to do some great things.
To my friends and “Nan family” in Thailand, thank you for continuing to welcome me into your lives. From you I have learned so much more than just cooking and food. I will always be thinking of my next trip to Thailand and to Nan Province. See you soon.
“It’s not because we have to or we can’t stand each other or because we suck. We’re happy. But we’re done. We’re doing this for good reasons, and we end up looking back at all the fun, the joy, and the incredible opportunities we had.” — Mike Mills
I never thought of kBird as a restaurant — it was really more like a band. The open kitchen was our stage; mortars and pestles, knives and stovetops were our instruments. One way or another, the intensity required to perform in our style was going to take its toll. It did. Is this my ideal way of finishing at this building? No. Have I reached a point of acceptance? Yes. Why?
Because WE DID IT, Y’ALL. WE DID IT. Thank you so much.