After more than 50 years in operation, Golden Star in Grande Prairie will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month.
Kina Wong, daughter of former Manager Ken Wong, and granddaughter of the late Wing Wong, one of the original owners, says it was a very difficult decision.
“We’ve had these discussions for a few years now between the children of the three owners as all of the three owners have all passed away. My Dad was the manager here after one of the original owners got sick. My Dad always told me that when I graduated from university he was going to retire but unfortunately he got sick and passed away,” she explains.
“My aunt is one of the people in charge of the restaurant right now, along with Jack Wong’s son Bill and Pon Mah’s daughter is still around too. Collectively, they decided they wanted to step away from the business.”
Wong says it’s a little overwhelming to think about how many people from the community have supported the restaurant since it first opened in 1969.
“It’s crazy to see how many people have reached out to tell us that they celebrated their wedding, birthday, or other events at Golden Star. We had customers come in the other day and tell us they got engaged here and they’re probably in their seventies. It’s amazing to think about all the changes and the events that have been celebrated right here,” she says.
The community of Grande Prairie has planned a five-day event, starting on April 25th to support the restaurant as much as possible.
“I saw that! It shocked me at first because I came across it on Facebook. Lots of people still don’t know we’re here because we’re close to the Farmers Market but we don’t have any bright signage. People come and don’t realize that we’ve been here for more than 50 years,” she says.
At the end of the day, Wong says she and her family will always be grateful for the support of the community.
“From myself and everyone that’s been here, we’d just like to thank everyone. Without them, our dream wouldn’t have been able to come true. I’m excited to see lots of faces in the community, and new, and old customers. It’s going to be fun, but also sad,” she adds.
After April 30th, Wally’s Kitchen, which is also a Chinese restaurant will be taking over the space. The new owners have invited the current owners to stay on, but nothing has been determined as of yet.