Community Chest

Creswell businesses collect money to help a local restaurant owner recover from unexpected disaster

Venus Crofts. Photo by Todd Cooper.

When a large pickup truck and camper suddenly crashed through the front of Creswell’s Dak Thai Cuisine restaurant the morning of June 18, shutting the restaurant down, Seth Clark knew he had to do something to help.

As seen in photos posted on social media, the truck nearly disappeared into the building when it knocked down the front wall of the restaurant, leaving the large slide-in camper dangling on the sidewalk.

Clark, who owns and operates Blue Valley Bistro in Creswell along with his wife, Melissa Clark, remembered how important community support was when their coffeehouse was the victim of a burglary in December.

“My wife and I were like, ‘Oh, my goodness,’” Clark says. “We’ve got to do something.”

“Something” quickly meant collecting donations to help Dak Thai and its owner, Venus Crofts, with uninsured expenses, such as lost revenue while repairs are made to the building. The restaurant, run by Crofts, her sister and their parents, opened in March 2020, immediately closed due to the pandemic, and then reopened that July to serve takeout. It specializes in homestyle Thai food and was profiled in Eugene Weekly’s Creswell-focused Spring Chow issue on May 5. 

The pickup driver, who was not hurt in the accident, apparently lost control before his truck hit the front of the building, took out the restaurant’s small seating area and even damaged the kitchen, Crofts says in an email.

“I’m not certain yet when we will be able to re-open,” she says, “but I’m coordinating with our landlord to make sure we will be able to open as soon as possible. Luckily, I am fortunate to have a very lovely and caring landlord. He helped us through this ordeal and is very kind and generous.”

Clark says he hasn’t counted the money collected so far at Blue Valley, but he thought that it totaled between $500 and $1,000 as of June 20.

Other businesses have also stepped up to collect money to help the restaurant out, Crofts says, including the Round Up Saloon next door to Dak Thai; Pazzo, another eatery in town; and Creswell Health Mart pharmacy.

“My parents and I were overwhelmed by the kindness, the love and the support our neighbors showed us,” Crofts says. “Creswell is not just a community, but Creswell is a family and we definitely felt that to the fullest.”

“This is what it is to live in a small community,” Clark says.

Contributions can be made at Blue Valley Bistro, 116 Melton Rd., Creswell Health Mart, 175 E. Oregon Ave., Pazzo, 44 W. Oregon Ave., and Round Up Saloon, 13 N. Front St., Creswell.