26 December 2022

Thaigga closed for renovations and relaunch in 2023

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Rob and Tammy Baliva are closing their iconic Fitzmaurice Street restaurant for two months for renovations. Photo: Adam Drummond.

Wagga’s most popular Thai restaurant has closed its doors for the holidays and the owners plan to get some major renovations done before relaunching in the new year.

“We’ve been trading with the fit-out as it was when we first took over, which was seven years ago,” said Thaigga owner Robert Baliva.

“We’ve made some little improvements as we’ve gone along, but the building has no underground plumbing, which is how it started.”

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As well as installing a new plumbing system at the Fitzmaurice Street store, Robert said they would take the opportunity to upgrade the facilities with new bathrooms and a bar and make a few cosmetic changes.

“We’re getting a chance to really make it our own,” he smiled.

“But I actually think that the shop has a good feel to it already and particularly the tables are a great part of the decor so we want to keep them there.”


The renovations will focus on plumbing and back of house while retaining Thaigga’s vibe. Photo: Adam Drummond.

Robert and wife Tammy also operate Tammy’s Thai Kitchen and have bounced back from a gruelling COVID-19 period.

“We’ve been like operating at 110 per cent since COVID ended,” Robert explained, adding that they decided not to invest in renovations during such an uncertain time.

“We had thought about wanting to renovate during COVID but we thought, what’s the point if we don’t have as much trade?”

“We always shut over Christmas anyway for a couple of weeks so we’ll just extend the break.

“But Tammy’s will open in January as usual for that great Thai food you know and love.”

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While Thai restaurants abound in metropolitan areas, they are less common in the regions.

“To run a Thai business you really need Thai people in there, especially for the flavours to be right,” said Robert.

“So having Thai staff in Wagga is a big part of it, which is difficult to get, but we’ve managed to find a way to do that.”


Attracting great Thai staff is fundamental to cooking authentic Thai food. Photo: Adam Drummond.

The plan is to reopen at the end of February or early March and Robert says they will keep their loyal customers updated through social media.

“Customers won’t notice too much change to the front of house and will probably be like, ‘Why did they close shop for two months?’

“But back of house is definitely going to have major improvements.”

You can keep up with Thaigga’s renovations and planned return here.


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