Buri Ram meatball vendors lay red carpet for Lisa Blackpink

Customers wait for fried meatballs at the Buri Ram train station in Muang district, Buri Ram, on Wednesday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)

BURI RAM: Local "standing meatball" vendors in this northeastern province are sizzling with anticipation of a celebrity visit from Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban after hearing that the Thai K-pop star returned to her homeland on Tuesday.

Customers queued up at meatball stalls at the Buri Ram train station in Muang district on Wednesday following reports the Blackpink superstar was back in the country for her first family reunion in three years to celebrate her 25th birthday on March 27.

Delighted vendors promised to serve her free meatballs if she happens to show up at their standing stalls outside the train station.

The "standing meatball" stalls - where customers have to stand to eat - are popular with locals and tourists, and even more so after Lisa earlier mentioned she looked forward to eating this street food again when she returned home.

Meatball vendors Arunsri Kamnerdklang and Chuleeporn Jaribram said they were extremely excited by reports of Lisa's return.

The Blackpink star made the standing meatball stalls of Buri Ram internationally known and helped raised daily sales of meatballs there from hundreds of baht to 100,000 baht overnight, they said. They viewed Lisa as their saviour.

Even if Lisa does not show up, local meatball vendors said they were very grateful she had not forgotten their food. They extended their heartfelt best wishes for her birthday, Ms Arunsi and Ms Chuleeporn said.

Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban (photo from her Instagram account, lalalalisa_m)

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