Bay Area residents and tourist from all over the world are crying today because a legendary Chinatown restaurant closed its doors last night due to well needed Health Department upgrades and repairs. It's unsure if the family or landlord has the money to revitalize a 100 year old building with today's standards.
After 105 years, 4 generations and Celebrity recognition from across the country. SAM WO is the most famous restaurant in San Francisco. Members of the family today are having a discussion of whether to fight and keep the business going. The parents say yes, but the children are not to sure.
We need to show the family we have their backs. Please sign this petition so we can have written proof that the public stands behind this Iconic business! There still might be a window of opportunity.
OPEN LETTER TO CUSTOMERS, FROM JULIE HO (SAM WO):
To Our Loyal Customers & Fans:
After a century of operation, Sam Wo is forced to close. Our last day is Friday, April 20th 2012. As of yesterday, the SF Health Dept has deemed the restaurant unsafe and hazardous since the building is not up to code. And yesterday was when we negotiated to have the restaurant open to as late as Friday. We are not ready to close shop but have no choice.
Sam Wo has been opened since 1907, after the 1906 earthquake, when Chinatown was rebuilt. Since then, it has stood on the same location as a restaurant with the same name. Over the decades, the restaurant had been known for the infamous "rude" waiter, Edsel Ford Fung who harassed and ordered around the customers, and not to mention the groping and kissing of unexpected female customers (especially blondes). Later came Mr. Lee, Becky a.k.a. "Mama San" or "Mama", Becky's sister- Annie who were labeled "rude" but not to the same degree as Edsel. The remaining quasi-old-timer waitresses and waiter are Fanny, Julie, and Jason.
After Friday, all the things that scream "Sam Wo" would be just memories. Hopefully, this can be a place where we can keep some of those memories around. Generations of customers, their family, friends, co-workers, strangers, ex'es have gotten together in this cramped up space. Please share with us your memories, stories, photos, video...anything! Let us remember: the dumbwaiter, walking through the kitchen and up the narrow staircase to the dinning rooms, the BYOB, the wooden stools, the graffiti- filled bathroom- with the sink outside (which many of you seem to overlook), the marble tables, the low second floor ceiling, raw fish salad, chow mein, chow fun, "jook", NOODLE ROLLS (with or without the mustard), eavesdropping on the next table, canned sodas, the non-itemized bill, the screaming down the dumbwaiter, the screaming ladies from the kitchen, the cash only, the late-night reminiscing of the "good old days", things you don't wanna tell your children about Sam Wo and much much more...
This is a very emotional and shocking time for us and we will miss all of you dearly. Please come and share with us the remaining time of Sam Wo with us. Today, Fanny (11a-9p) and Julie (8p-3a) will be there. Our final day/night: Fanny (11a-9p), Julie (6p-3a), and Jason (9p-3a). There are no official plans; like always, we're just going to go with the flow. So just come out and have your final noodle rolls, jook, chow mein, chow fun, won tons, canned sodas and whatever with us.
Friends of the restaurant- we have been through all sorts of times with each other. May those memories live on and we not forget one another.