What was once a scenic haven in the heart of Chantaburi, a bustling provincial town in the heartland of Thailand, the Sky View Cafe AT Chantaburi, has now become the focal point of a heated family feud. The storm broke out following the unfortunate demise of the proprietor of this cliff-hugging dining spot, Songkran “Es” Taweeponsawat, ensnaring in its wake his present and former wives in a maelstrom of ownership disputes.
Phanisa “Mook” Pongsawat, the Thai spouse of the late businessman, presented the first telling of this tale on the Cafe’s Facebook page. Her emotionally touching post announced a temporary closing of the cafe for maintenance from November 30 due to her husband’s untimely death. However, the plot thickened when Supajitta Dermsomboon, Es’s daughter from his previous marriage, chimed in with her version of the events. She was quick to set up a new Facebook page for the café, announcing her intentions to take over the business along with her siblings this December 19. She gave a fascinated public a spin on the feud by demanding Mook stay clear from what she now claimed was solely her turf.
In a response laden with pathos, Mook sought to reconnect with her multitude of customers, reminding them of her 11-year long relationship with Es. She reminisced about their shared parenthood of an adopted son, a sprightly seven-year-old named Sky, after whom the cafe was named, and their journey from the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat to the provincial town of Chantaburi in 2019.
Claiming her contributions to be largely financial against Es’s managerial expertise, Mook painted a desperate picture of a woman disillusioned in the aftermath of her husband’s death by a surprise stroke, and the subsequent rude intrusion by Es’s former wife and their daughter. Threats were allegedly directed her way, forcing her to relinquish her beloved cafe and retreat back to her home province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The plaza of public opinion, in the meanwhile, buzzed with speculation and whispers of nuptial documentation – or the lack thereof.
Despite the outpouring of sympathy, the cafe closure was ordered by the sub-district office due to non-approved renovations – a technicality that fed Mook’s worries of potential legal complications. Especially as the ex-wife and daughter continued to operate the business under their helm, refusing all media contact aside from cryptic mentions of legal consultations.
The pot was stirred further when eminent lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet commented publicly on the dispute. He suggested a shared ownership of the cafe between Es’s children and partner, and urged both factions to reach a peaceful negotiation, for the loss of the cafe would only increase their combined woes.
The netizens, however, had their focus locked on one crux of the mystery – did Mook marry Es in the eyes of the law? The answer could put an end to the feud as the cafe and its profits would undeniably belong to Mook as per her claims stating her as the primary financist of the venture.