One of Maine’s Best Chinese Restaurants Opens Dining Room After 3 Years of Takeout Only
Portland's Empire Chinese Kitchen has opened its dining room!
According to the Portland Press Herald, Empire Chinese Kitchen as indoor dining once again! The co-owner, Theresa Chan told the paper that they 'quietly' reopened May 24 so that staff could get used to having customers sitting at tables again! They have also made the adjustments on their website.
They were hoping to reopen its dining room last spring, but it took months longer to replace the HVAC system. Then when last fall hit, they just decided to do what they'd been doing - a very busy takeout business! They have been takeout only since October of 2020 because of Covid. It was a welcome sight after they closed their doors in March of 2020. Reopening for takeout was a relief to their very loyal fans.
You might notice that their dinging room shrunk by about 14 seats. It was already a pretty small dinging area. The loss of those 14 seats is to accommodate the takeout service counter area they put in during the pandemic. Remember when they were open, and you'd try to get a table and it would be a two hour wait? Not so much right now. The dining room hasn't been filled yet. Theresa Chan told the Press Herald,
Half of them are people who are extremely excited, and half are walk-in traffic, who had no idea we were closed in the first place. But I’ve had people walk by and jump for joy at the windows. It’s been the best feeling ever. It is extremely heart-warming to have customers in here again.
Welcome back Empire. We were loyal customers when you were open, when you were closed, when you were only takeout and now you'll see us sitting in your dining room soon!