Last chance for Chinese: Two long timers closing

Farewell, Golden House. Photo by Julie Mah.

Farewell, Golden House. Photo by Julie Mah.

Fans of Chinese food in Wichita are running out of time to eat at two old favorites.

Golden House, a carryout Chinese spot at 504 S. Broadway that’s long been a favorite of downtown workers (including many at the Wichita Eagle) is closing at the end of the day on Saturday. It’s been in business for 16 years, but the owners are retiring and moving to Atlanta. A Sonic will open on the property by the end of the year.

Also, Yen Ching — which was my favorite Chinese restaurant when I first moved to Wichita — also is closing after 30 years at 430 N. Rock Road. The lease is up on the space, and the landlord has decided to give it to Qdoba Mexican Grill. Owners aren’t exactly sure when the restaurant’s last day will be and say it depends on how quickly the stock runs out. It’ll at least be open through Sunday, Mother’s Day, but will close sometime between Monday and May 18.

The closings bring to mind a question someone recently asked me. Where should Wichitans go these days if they want a nice, sit-down Chinese meal and don’t want a chain like Pei Wei?

That’s a hard one to answer. Kwan Court is gone, and Yen Ching soon will be, too. That leaves Wichita with mostly fast-Chinese places such as Great Wall or an array of super buffet restaurants.

My picks are Oh Yeah! China Bistro at 3101 N. Rock Road, which has a nice interior and good food. I also like the retro feel of both Lee’s at 6215 W. Kellogg and Ming’s at 1625 S. Seneca, and the food is decent at both.

Where do you go for sit-down Chinese food?

Restaurants take vacations, too

A few weeks ago, a reader wrote to ask me if Yen Ching, the classic Wichita Chinese restaurant at 430 N. Rock Road, was out of business. She’d stopped by for lunch and it was closed and looked deserted, an appearance not helped by the fact that the awning over the entry way was missing. It has actually been gone for months now.

We investigated (i.e. called and listened to the restaurant’s voice mail greeting) and learned that the owners were just on vacation. Yen Ching reopened a few days later and has remained open. Still, rumors persist that it’s closed. I saw someone on Twitter lament its closing just a few days ago.

It’s somewhat typical for family-run restaurants to close down for a week or two out of the year for vacation, but it can cause panic among its loyal diners. La Gallette’s owners, for example, just closed down their restaurant at 1017 W. Douglas for a week for vacation. They’ve been back in business this week but are closing again starting Wednesday until Aug. 5.

Yen Ching is closed — but just for a while

I heard yesterday from a concerned reader, who noted that longtime Chinese restaurant Yen Ching at 430 N. Rock Road  has looked fairly deserted for several days now. She feared the worse for the restaurant known for its sizzling rice soup.

So I stopped by this morning and am happy to report that the owners are just on a little vacation. Yen Ching will reopen on May 10.