Saturday, January 30, 2010

The end of an era

For generations of students and families, Chef Chang's House in Brookline has been a comfortable place for delicious Chinese food. It is informal and warm, with friendly waiters and welcoming hosts. The owners, Tony and Su-Mei Chan, have decided that three decades is enough, and the place is closing tomorrow.

I went by yesterday (twice -- lunch and dinner) for a last taste. The restaurant was packed with people wanting to do the same and to thank the family for years of service. Tony told me of a customer who had called from Tennessee to say he was flying up for one last meal and and to say goodbye. The place had meant that much to him during his college years.

There were so many customers in the last few days that they ran out of Peking duck, the house specialty. A special shipment was brought in, and they spent overnight last night roasting the ducks to have some available today. A week's worth of other supplies likewise only lasted two days. If you decide to go by, please expect to wait some time for a table.

The Chan's were genuinely surprised at the outpouring of affection. Those of us who know them are not in the least surprised.


Jim Rattray said...

Many great memories of long dinners with friends Chef Chang's when I was in college (way back when)!

Anonymous said...

Transferred from Facebook:

Jim: I know this entire scenario very well, from both sides of the counter. There is joy and sadness. I am happy to see them moving on to something new, more relaxing, that they deserve and sad for all the faces that will be missing from their lives and their loss of a familiar way of life.

Congratulations Chans, go in peace to make new and wonderful memories. You are special people.

Terry: Oh, that's so sad. Started going there when they first opened and we were new to Boston. We've had lots of great dinners there and it was a great place to take the lab out for an occasional lunch. The Peking duck was always fantastic. I wish I had known earlier so I could have gone by for a goodbye meal.

Angelica: Oh no, I didn't know.

Judith: Me neither...what a shame!

Jennifer: Love that place-sorry that they are closing!

Anonymous said...

Another from Facebook:

Sally: Oh God...first Jae's closes for renovations, now Chef Changs...we're gonna starve!!