Hung Won Chinese Restaurant to close after 18 years

By Jill Kuramoto
Published On: Dec 28 2013 03:59:00 AM HST

Mom and Pop Chinese restaurant, Hung Won, say goodbye to loyal customers as they plan to shut down on December 31st.

HONOLULU -

It's been a fixture in Kaimuki for 18 years.

Seven days a week, the Lees have made customers happy with their specialties at Hung Won Chinese Restaurant.

Click here to watch Jill Kuramoto's report.

Come Dec. 31, it'll be time to say goodbye.

"A lot of people were like, 'What? We heard you're retiring! Where are you going? I won't have any place else to go,'" said Diane Lee, the owners' daughter.

The Lees took over the former Kwock's Chop Suey in 1995, renaming it Hung Won Chinese Restaurant after the Chinese god of prosperity.

It has been good fortune for the Lees, thanks to good food and loyal customers like Glenice Furuya, who eats at the restaurant almost every day.

"They're so wonderful. They do whatever I like. You know, make the meals the way I like, low salt. It's terrific," said Furuya.

"I think it's because my mom is so friendly and she treats people like they're family. Every time people come, she gives them a hug and she asks about their life. They've become part of our family, too. We've built a lot of great friendships over the years, so that's why I think it's been so special," said Lee.

"Yeah, she's nice. That's part of the reason why we come here," said George Takeuchi, who eats at the restaurant at least once a week. "And they have the best gau gee min in the city."

Fans of the restaurant include UH football coach Norm Chow, Olympic gold medalist Misty May Treanor and actor Jeremy Dunn.

As for what's next for the Lai Wa and Victor Lee? Maybe a trip to Las Vegas and definitely some rest.

New owners will take over the restaurant in January. They plan to keep the name.

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