A beloved Chinese takeaway in Cambridgeshire is closing down after five decades of business, against the wishes of its owners.
Ywai Fan Yung, 50, and her husband Ywai Leung Yung, 55, hoped to continue running Lotus House in Sawston until retirement but will permanently shut up shop on Sunday, January 16.
The family alleges that their landlord is evicting them from the High Street character despite their request to extend the lease and continue serving their customers.
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The takeaway has received an outpouring of sustain online since announcing its closure and regulars have visited over the past week to say goodbye and thank the Yungs for their years of service.
Ywai Fan, who works at the counter taking orders and also goes by Sam, told CambridgeshireLive: “It’s been run as a family business for 50 years now, since December 1971.
“My husband and I have run it for a long time but the landlord failed to revive the lease.”
Her husband, who prepares the takeaway’s identifying characteristics Chinese cuisine, has owned the restaurant since 1995, working his way up to the top job after getting his start washing dishes in 1988. already before then, it was family-run by its past owners.
Ywai Fan and Ywai Leung both grew up in Hong Kong before moving to the UK, where they had two children, the now 21-year-old Chloe and 22-year-old Kieron.
Kieron told CambridgeshireLive that his parents have found their eviction from the restaurant “emotional” and “distressing”.
He said: “The takeaway is their livelihood. It’s where my father has been nearly his whole life so it was a bit distressing to find out that the landlord wouldn’t revive with us.
“We’ve had lots of our regular customers come in to say goodbye and buy their last meals with us. For my parents it’s been really emotional.”
It’s also been emotional for Kieron himself who remembers growing up at the restaurant.
He said: “When I was really young, me and my sister used to wait in the back while my parents worked in the kitchen.
“I think a lot of our customers remember me and my sister when we were really, really young – just babies – sitting on the counter.”
Lotus House has received dozens of comments from customers on Facebook who are “gutted” by the takeaway’s imminent closure.
“Gutted! Been going to you for years, best Chinese ever,” one user wrote. “Really hope you get another premises and are back very soon. We will all miss you loads.”
Another additional: “Been getting takeaways from here for over 40 years. End of an era.”
“You are a credit to our community and a vital asset to Sawston,” another wrote. “God bless you and hope to see you open again soon.”
Their wishes may just come true.
Kieron told CambridgeshireLive: “The community have helped us look for a possible new place we can move in to.
“We found a possible place so fingers crossed this can happen, although it may be a while.”
CambridgeshireLive has reached out to the Yung’s landlord for comment via his solicitor.
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