For Nearly 25 Years, Lang’s Express Was a Staple in Portland, Maine
For almost 25 years, Lang's Express was a mainstay on St. John Street in Portland, serving their beloved lunch buffet to a hungry work force during the work week. Lang's also was one of the last late night spots for visitors to Portland's Old Port who were looking to make one last dash for food before heading home. Despite its popularity, Lang's Express closed in 2019 to the shock of many, leaving behind memories for many fans of the restaurant.
While many people visited Lang's Express over its two-and-a-half decades in business, there was one visit that remained above the rest. Lang's was famously visited by then-President Bill Clinton for lunch in 1996. He even sent a letter thanking them for a great meal afterwards which the owners cherished.
But times change, and seemingly so did the tastes of Portland and its frequent visitors over the last several years. The city saw two of its most established Chinese food restaurants close permanently. Valley Chinese on Forest Avenue shut down early in 2018, and shortly after, Lang's followed suit.
Business is business, and next door neighbor Dunkin' saw an opportunity in 2018. The St. John Street location had notoriously been a busy one, and Dunkin' was transitioning their look, logo, and drive-thru lanes, and needed extra space. They purchased Lang's Express, tore down the existing building, and built a brand new Dunkin'.
The lunch buffet is long gone and the late nighters still miss their 1am pu pu platters, but the memory of Lang's Express still lives on in the stories people have from when it was one of Portland's most popular Chinese restaurants.