Calgary’s Golden Inn closes a golden era after 45 years – Calgary

After opening in 1977, the Golden Inn restaurant in Calgary has announced that it will be closing permanently at the end of the month.


“It’s definitely bittersweet. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s about time,” said Raymond Lau, co-owner of the Golden Inn. “Me and my two brothers, we grew up here and spent all our free time here.”

Lau said his father, John Lau, trained as a chef at Hong Chef before moving to Vancouver and eventually Calgary.

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“It’s really his passion and he really loved what he was doing,” Raymond said. “He worked 365 days a year and as a Chinese restaurant they’re open for Christmas, New Year’s and all that stuff. Even on the odd day or two off, he would want to eat here and come here.”

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The Golden Inn is known for its many plates of delicious food and for being open late, serving customers until 4am on weekends.

“If you’ve never been here on the weekends, it’s pretty awesome, it’s different,” Raymond said. “That’s what my dad and his group of friends always did. They would always go and play mahjong and they would get together and have a place to eat.

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“Nowhere else was open at the time so we opened late and it caught on. After going to the casino, clubbing and party people came here to eat.

“There’s usually a line out the door at 2 a.m.”

And Raymond said they’ve had some high-profile clients over the years, including politicians and professional athletes.

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“I’m a big Calgary Flames fan, so Mike Vernon is a regular here,” he said. “[He has]actually a table, he’s always sitting there and always eating there.”

While the Golden Inn has had many high points, there have also been some tough times, including the 2013 floods that completely submerged parts of Calgary in water.

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“The restaurant is a block from the Bow River, so we were closed for about six months,” Raymond said. “That time was probably the first time I realized how important and impactful the restaurant was.

“A lot of people came down to actually help physically, throwing away rotten food and ripping up the carpets. That was the first time I thought, ‘Hey, we actually have something special here’.”

While there are a number of factors that led the Lau family to close the Golden Inn, Raymond said the main reason was to allow his parents to enjoy all of their hard work.

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“My parents are in their 70s and 60s, so around that retirement age,” he explained. “Owning a restaurant is not easy. So it gives them some time to look forward to the next stage of life and gives them some balance.”

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According to Raymond, the Golden Inn will officially close its doors on August 27th. Until then, customers can enjoy delicious Chinese cuisine until the early hours.

“Come eat your last meal with us and help us say goodbye.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Calgary’s Golden Inn closes a golden era after 45 years – Calgary


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