Popular Chinese restaurant could be back this year

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A POPULAR Chinese restaurant, which closed its doors to the public four months ago, could be brought back to life before the end of the year.

On February 25, after 28 years of serving the Bury St Edmunds community, Canton Chinese Restaurant, in Hatter Street, shut up shop and was put on the market.

Cards, letters, gifts and flowers flooded in from loyal customers sorry to see the family-run restaurant go.

But now owner Patrick Chung says, if it does not sell within the next five months, it could be reopened for business as usual.

He said: “Hopefully it will be sold by then but if we can’t sell it we’ll probably go back and keep our regular friends and customers happy.

“Then we’ll probably shut it again for a few months,” he added.

The well-liked venue was run by Mr Chung, who will celebrate his 65th birthday in November, and his brothers Donald, Marlon, Charlie, along with their spouses.

But they were short-staffed and had been trying to take a step back from it for around five years, finally taking the decision this year to prioritise their health over the business and close its doors ‘for good’.

Mr Chung said: “They’re all very happy.

“We’ll discuss what is the best thing to do after my big birthday.”

Since stepping down from Canton, Mr Chung says he has been able to devote more time to the many community activities he is involved in, be it as a town or borough councillor, a Samaritans volunteer or as a school governor.

Some may even have seen him judging the children’s fancy dress competition, held in the town’s Abbey Gardens as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Tuesday.

To date, Mr Chung said there has been some interest in renting parts of the building but no offer to buy the restaurant as a whole.

“At the moment, when we go back there it’s sad - you see the property empty and there’s no atmosphere,” he said.

“But I’ll be all right if we decide to go back because we’ll be seeing our friends,” he added.

If in November the Chung family decide to reopen the restaurant, which has become an annual spectacle during celebrations for the Chinese New Year, a relaunch will be planned to reunite the team with its customers.