COVID-19 lockdowns and failed lease negotiations have forced one of Sydney’s most iconic restaurants to close its doors.
Golden Century Seafood Restaurant has gone into administration after 31 years of hosting celebrity chefs, politicians and other famous visitors, as well as appearing in the Australian cult classic film Two Hands.
Chifley Advisory was appointed as administrator for the restaurant on 17 August, according to a notice on ASIC.
Administrator Desmond Teng told The Sydney Morning Herald the primary reason for the restaurant’s closure was its long-term lease coming to an end on Tuesday.
“And secondly, the business hasn’t been trading at full capacity for a long time now [due to COVID-19] and they were technically making losses,” Teng said.
He also told SMH that it was likely the venue would reopen after it has been restructured and is able to renegotiate its lease.
Golden Century Seafood Restaurant has been owned by Eric and Linda Wong since 1989 when the two migrated from Hong Kong to Australia.
Since then, they have also opened up The Century at The Star and XOPP in Darling Square.
The restaurant has hosted the likes of Lady Gaga, Remy Hii, Bob Carr and is a regular haunt for Sydney’s Mayor Clover Moore and her team.
It has even gained the attention of legendary chefs Anthony Bourdain and David Chang and Heston Blumenthal.
Golden Century group posted a touching farewell on its social media pages thanking its patrons.
“If only these doors could talk, the stories they would tell, and the memories they share. Thank you Sydney for the past 32 years!” the post said.
“We have been deeply touched by the outpour of love, support, and a little surprised by the tremendous reaction to the news that as we approach the end of our lease at our Chinatown venue, it is with deep sadness we will have to vacate our beloved premises we have come to know so well since 1990.
“Many lunches, dinners, late nights and generations of diners that have come through our doors celebrating everything there is to celebrate.
“We are thankful for the many fond memories with our family and friends, customers and supporters. We will treasure them forever.”
Meanwhile, patrons expressed their shock over the iconic venue’s closure on social media, as well as sharing their dining memories.
*Golden Century closes*
Sydney to COVID: pic.twitter.com/UuTuY59ljz
— Scott Dooley (@scottdools) August 19, 2021
Lovely to lean in over the virtual lazy Susan and share stories about Golden Century, a Sydney icon, which I hope will find a way to survive.
Let’s take this as a wake-up call: the places we love are teetering on the edge, and we need to spend and support them when we can. https://t.co/et9LROCacS
— Jess Scully (@jessaroo) August 28, 2021
Hearing about the closure of #GoldenCentury is like a death in the family. The last time I celebrated my birthday in Sydney we went & had the XO pippies in honour of Anthony Bourdain. They’ve saved countless at 3am from hangover with a late night dinner. RIP.
— Remy Hii (@RemyHii) August 19, 2021
Featured image source: Facebook/Golden Century Group