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Chinatown's Historic Sam Wo To Reopen In Mid-October

Photo: Google Street View
By Geri Koeppel - Published on September 29, 2015.

The team behind Sam Wo restaurant, a Chinatown institution for more than 100 years, announced this morning that it'll reopen at a new address on Oct. 19th, pending final inspections.

An invitation for a media event on Oct. 2nd says the restaurant's new address is 713 Clay St. The former Sam Wo was located at 813 Washington St., which was built shortly after the 1906 earthquake and closed in April 2012 due to structural building safety and health code violations. The restaurant was notably open until 3am; the new location says that it has been approved for "after hours" until 4am.

The invitation, which includes a link to a video about Sam Wo, reads in part:

It served up good inexpensive Chinese food and an "attitude" you could find no where else, cooking for over 100 years. Sam Wo was the workplace for the late Edsel Ford Fung, the world's rudest waiter. Legendary Chronicle columnist Herb Caen often wrote about the restaurant, and best selling author Armistead Maupin included Sam Wo in his popular Tales of the City. Even talk-show host Conan O'Brien paid tribute when he did his show from San Francisco.

The invitation continues, "On its final day, thousands of loyal customers lined the sidewalk, waiting for hours to get one last meal from their favorite restaurant. For some, the closing of Sam Wo was like the loss of a family member."

It also says Sam Wo is "not just a wonton and jook place anymore," and invites media to find out more at the event, including "what's new on the old menu," "the fresh decor infused with original artifacts" and "going beyond brick-and-mortar." The website for Sam Wo has long asked for people to send family photos and stories of Fung's rudeness, so expect to see plenty about him, too. We'll give you more details after the media event.

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