CHINATOWN (WTXF) - A restaurant in Chinatown is closing its doors for the final time Sunday.
Four men from Hong Kong started the Imperial Inn in 1973, and, across all the years, they served Philadelphians and tourists alike.
It’s not as if it’s the only restaurant in Chinatown. But, it is an institution. The chefs served their last meals Sunday afternoon.
Oh, the stories. Like Dave and Olga McDowell from Wilmington. Their family was the last to get in Sunday and the last to leave. They were engaged at the restaurant 28 years ago.
“The ring was a big surprise,” said Olga McDowell.
“This is where I actually gave her the ring, 28 years ago. It’s the end of an era. Not just me, but other folks are gonna miss it, too,” stated Dave McDowell.
Folks like Joe Lowe.
“My daughter was christened here. Okay, so that’s 24 years ago. There’s a lot of memories and you don’t forget those memories,” said Lowe.
Daniel Law owns the restaurant. His father and three of his friends opened it in 1973. Some familiar faces have stopped by since then.
“This is the ex-president of China,” said Law. “Governor Rendell, Senator Santorum, Governor Christie Whitman,” Law continued.
When Daniel first waited tables, one woman back then loved the place so much.
“When she heard the news we were closing, she flew over from Florida last night just to say goodbye,” Law added.
Edith Chan worked 23 years before retiring a couple of years ago.
‘I feel so sad. This restaurant is so friendly. Everybody is like a whole family,” Chan said.
So, why is Daniel closing up his labor of love?
“The main reason is I’m getting old. I cannot take the aggravations anymore. Too many aggravations anymore. If I could turn back the clock 20 years, I certainly would continue,” Law explained.