Happy New Year! I’ve some exciting news to help ring in 2022. After a brief closure, The Charlie Chan Restaurant, Cambridge, United Kingdom is once again open continuing a legacy that spans 67 years of dedicated service!
This fine establishment may hold the title, “Oldest Charlie Chan Restaurant still open for business!” See my November 1st, 2019 blog, Those Charlie Chan Eateries. At the time I released that post this restaurant had temporarily closed, and I’d believed it was permanent…another casualty of the pandemic. But not so and business is once again thriving! Hardly unexpected though (the thriving part) as this restaurant shares a long history and legacy among local Cambridgians (sic.)
It originally opened it’s doors in 1955 as Pagoda Restaurant. Then in 1985 Peter Lee purchased the business and renamed the restaurant after head chef and partner–you guessed it–Charlie Chan. Charlie was previously head chef at Peter’s first restaurant, the New Leaf, in Ealing, West London.
And talk about legacy building, some of their faithful employees have stuck around a bit: Mr. Chung, 40 years; Mr. Wong & Mr. Le, 30 years, and Mr. & Mrs Wu, 20 years. The restaurant and it’s owners have achieved many accolades; among them, in 2012, Peter Lee was awarded a prestigious MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by HM Queen Elizabeth II, for his services to the Chinese community in Cambridge.
All very exciting and much more to read about on their website: http://www.charliechanuk.com/about-us. Still, even with all that said I believe most Cambridge patrons will agree the real win are the 83 delicious items on their menu:
With its Blue Lagoon Lounge and Main Floor dining area, Charlie Chan holds the ambiance of a 1940’s style Casablanca. One can imagine Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre at the bar making devious plans, while Sidney Toler and Victor Sen Young dine at a nearby table (eyes closely pealed on those two.)
Best wishes to all for a marvelous New Year in 2022! As for me, I’m moving The Charlie Chan Restaurant, Cambridge, UK atop my “must visit” bucket list this year!
“He who keeps the friendship of a prince, wins honors. But he who keeps that of a cook, wins food”Keeper of The Keys, 1932, Chapter 10