DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - As of Tuesday afternoon the website for Empress Pavilion, a 600-seat Chinatown dim sum spot, still proclaimed that the restaurant is “open everyday at business hours!.”
But that’s not the case anymore.
The 25-year-old restaurant closed for good Sunday after being evicted from their second-floor home at Bamboo Plaza, said George Yu, executive director of the Chinatown Business Improvement District.
“Obviously everyone is sad. It’s the end of an era,” he said.
The Los Angeles Times first reported the closure.
Yu said the restaurant at 988 N. Hill St., which employed more than 100 people, closed after the owners, Joe Lee and Ricky Chan, fell behind on rent, due to a combination of low sales, issues with building maintenance and the enormous size of the restaurant.
“Running a large restaurant is incredibly tough and they had a lot of issues with the building, the escalators didn’t work for a long time,” Yu said, referring to the escalators that lead from Broadway to the restaurant.
Empress Pavilion opened in 1989 and became known for its selection of dim sum served by women pushing carts throughout the restaurant.
“Some of them have been pushing the carts at Empress since it opened,” Yu said.
Chan and Lee, the executive chef, bought the restaurant from the original owner in 2007.
©Los Angeles Downtown News.