Popular Chinese restaurant in Niagara Falls closing its doors for good


Published March 15, 2023 at 11:04 am

The owners of Lee's Restaurant and Tavern at 3521 Portage Rd in Niagara Falls announced on Monday that today would be their last day.

When the time came to sign a new lease, the owners of Lee’s Restaurant and Tavern in Niagara Falls decided it was time to pack up the cutlery.

Michael and Winnie Chen, the second owners of Lee’s, said after 18 years, they couldn’t keep up with the pace of running the business and both being in their 60s, decided to finally retire.

On Monday (March 13), the pair announced that today (March 15) was the day for the long-time restaurant located at 3521 Portage Rd.

Apologizing for the “abrupt notice,” the couple added, “We would like to thank the community for all the wonderful years of support. We look forward to saying goodbye to many familiar faces.”

They added that pretty much every fixture at the restaurant was available for sale.

Their daughter, Jessica Chen, took to the restaurant’s Facebook page to explain the daily workload her parents put into Lee’s. “They ran our small business for over 18 years, working every single day Monday to Sunday, working mostly 12 hour days taking only a handful of days off a year.”

“They literally dedicated their lives to ensure their children had all the opportunities they didn’t have growing up.”

“As my parents have gracefully entered their 60s, they began to struggle to keep up with business,” she continued. “Presented with the dilemma to sign another five year contract with the landlord or close down, they made the difficult decision.”

She said that after her folks made the announcement Monday, “The love my parents have been receiving these past few days has been overwhelming. We’re at a loss for words. We genuinely didn’t know how much we meant to this community until now. You cried with us, you laughed with us and you held us up. Thank you for caring so much about us.”

Added another: “We have been blessed by your parent’s dedication and service and we are so grateful for them. The commitment they have made is not lost on us and so we hope and pray only the best for them in their retirement. They will most certainly be missed, but we send them with our love and blessings in this next season. Thank you so very much for the love you poured into every order.”
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