Wing’s Chinese Restaurant

Just yesterday, the Mercury News ran this piece announcing that Wing’s Chinese Restaurant is closing. I sketched their sign recently, so I went back today for one last look today. On the door were juxtaposed two signs. One recording the year Wing’s first opened it’s doors. And the other explaining why it will finally close for good. Inside was a long line of people, all waiting for a lunch table. Since Wing’s didn’t say exactly when they’re closing, I guess everyone decided to drop in today, just in case…
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Wing’s was named for it’s first owner, Wing Chen. Though the restaurant stands in what is now Japantown, this area was once a part of San Jose’s Chinatown. When I sketched the scene below not so long ago, there was a crew repairing the pavement in front of the restaurant, and you wouldn’t have thought things were close to folding…

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The restaurant opened in 1925, but the sign is from the 40s or 50s. (Know a more exact date? I’d love to know.) At night, the neon wings light up in red and ‘flap’. Well, not really, but if you look closely at the sign, you’ll see there are two wing positions and they cleverly switch on and off .

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If you love Wing’s, or have meant to go but never been, head there soon, they won’t be around for long. That’s San Jose’s longest running full-service restaurant, closing down.

Location:
131 Jackson St 

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