Chelsea institution Choys closes it doors after 61 years in business
Choys restaurant opened on the Kings Road in 1952 and closed for the final time earlier this month. Its passing marks yet another death knell for what gives Chelsea its character.
Owner Chan Wing Man sold his lease back to his landlord, Cadogan Estates and told the Evening Standard:
“I’ve been doing it for a long time — 25 years… I felt it was the right time. I have three children but they’re not interested. It’s not easy running a restaurant these days, with rates and rent and everything. It’s hard work”.
In a notice posted in the 1,305 square foot restaurant’s window, Wing Man added: “Thank you, thank you thank you to all our customers” and stated: “Best of luck to you all!” Though Choys never set the culinary landscape alight, it was reliable and well run.
A favourite of eccentrics and having previously been on the market for some time “confidentially”, Choys will be replaced by another restaurant according to Hugh Seaborn, chief executive of Cadogan Estates. He commented:
“Wing and his family have run a fantastic community restaurant for many, many years which has always be reasonably priced and much loved in the area. So after we have done some renovation work we will put the premises on the open market to find another restaurant. We won’t be looking for the highest bidder. We will be looking for a restaurant to serve the community”.
On that basis, Richard Caring need not apply. Given the site’s proximity to the Shawfield Street home of Charles Saatchi, however, the art collector will no doubt be disappointed. A Kings Road branch of Scott’s would suit “The Throttler” just nicely.
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