Long Island will be losing one of its few remaining mid-20th century Chinese restaurants when Palace of Wong in Rockville Centre closes on Oct. 24. With its neon "Chow Mein" sign rising high above a pagoda-topped exterior, the 48-year-old dining spot was a landmark on Sunrise Highway.
A Facebook posting by owner David Wong reads: “Since 1967, we have been proudly serving this community. The Wong family would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and support for the past 47 years. We are deeply saddened to inform you that Saturday, October 24th will be our last day of regular business.”
Wong, whose father opened the restaurant in 1967, has been with the business since 1987. He said that many of the older customers have been eating there since the restaurant’s early days, and many servers have been with the place a long time, as well. Regulars have their favorite waiters and favorite booths, said Wong, adding that one longtime customer is flying up from Florida to eat at the restaurant before it closes.
Although Long Island, these days, is populated with “all kinds of Asian fusion, Thai and Japanese restaurants,” said Wong, Palace of Wong is one of the few Cantonese places left. “And that‘s why people come from Brooklyn and Huntington.”
So, why close? Wong said that it is time for him to move on. “I am going to be doing other things, but not in the restaurant business,” he said. Although it’s possible he will find a buyer for the place, that hasn’t happened yet.
Which means that if you’re looking to get that final fix of egg roll, fried rice and lobster Cantonese, you'd better act soon.
Palace of Wong is at 348 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre, 516-764-3240.