By Elena Kadvany
Su Hong Palo Alto's last day of business will be Sept. 29Uploaded: Sep 12, 2019
The owner of Su Hong Palo Alto gave its generations of diners plenty of notice about his plans to close the restaurant, announcing it a year in advance.
Now, that day is around the corner. The 4256 El Camino Real restaurant will serve its last potstickers, General's chicken and other beloved dishes on Sunday, Sept. 29.
King, who is in his late 70s, sold the property and plans to retire. A five-story hotel has been proposed to replace the restaurant.
David King, a native of Taiwan, has run Su Hong restaurants since the 1970s. Photo by Elena Kadvany.
"I've devoted all my life, pretty much, (to) Su Hong," King said in an interview last fall. "I think it's about time for me to step back and step out and enjoy the rest of my life."
King said his retirement plan was expedited by economic pressures driving restaurant closures throughout the Bay Area, including a regional labor shortage and increasing costs.
"These days it's harder and harder to get help — I won't even say good help," he said. "The profit margin is getting smaller and smaller and smaller."
This is the last standing location of Su Hong. The first Su Hong opened in Menlo Park in 1977. Then came the first Palo Alto location at 4101 El Camino Way in 1987 and a takeout restaurant in Menlo Park in 1991.
About 10 years ago, King purchased the El Camino Real site, which was then a Denny's. He remodeled and opened the new Su Hong in 2010.
King's ex-wife, Bee King, sold both Menlo Park Su Hong locations in 2015. (While the new owner changed the name of the take-out location at 630 Menlo Ave. to Chef Kwan’s, he kept the Su Hong recipes and menu.)