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Shop Talk: Ming's, Bargain Box set to close

Original post made on Mar 29, 2014

Ming's, Palo Alto's oldest and largest Chinese restaurant, isn't closing yet. It's the end of an era for the Bargain Box, the small resale shop at 341 S. California Ave., which helps fund the Children's Health Council.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 28, 2014, 9:52 AM

Comments (20)

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Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 30, 2014 at 9:36 am

Didn't even realize Mings was supposed to close march 15th. went there two times in the last week. Didn't notice a change.

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Posted by Burn In Hell
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

Good riddance, Ming's.

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Posted by Bargain Box, love it
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Bargain Box is a pleasant, well-ordered store, with nice merchandise. I shop there whenever I'm near California Ave.
Sad, sad to see so many great institutions go the way of developer ambition for more money. There ought to be a law...

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Posted by UnwelcomeChange
a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Oh how sad! We always liked Mings. The food and service were always consistently good. Most of all, we like the location. It is an ideal spot for meeting up with colleagues and friends. We often end up at Mings because its easy to find, has good parking, and is close to 101.

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Posted by Chinese food fan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2014 at 7:23 am

Love Chinese food, but Mings... NO! I've never eaten such uninspired food.... makes me miss Windy's all the more!

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Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

We enjoyed Ming's dim sum, especially on weekend mornings when they had a good selection and the big tables were full of multi-generation families. Now days, all the Chinese restaurants in Palo Alto are shutting down. Demographics in this city are changing.

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Posted by Floyd
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

Ate at Ming's for many years when it was on El Camino in S Palo Alto.
Food and service were OK then.

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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:35 am

So glad Ming's isn't going anywhere - just a little hiatus.
I can't wait to attend some of these events Vicky has planned. Especially the Dim Sum Jazz!!
Best wishes in making your new Ming's & hotel, Vicky!!

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Posted by 35 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:45 am

For those of you looking for a Ming's replacement, I suggest you try Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant on El Camino just south of Page Mill road. Very authentic Cantonese food and consistently good. Unfortunately, no Dim Sum. One only needs to look in the window to know how good they are. Nearly all Chinese patrons. Speaks volumes. They were previously located at El Camino and San Antonio right behind the CVS store. New location is much nicer and roomier.

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Posted by Rosie
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:46 am

So onward we go, money is king, everything is "upscaled". Cal. Ave. will sorely miss the Bargain Box and Cho's. We are far too fancy now for that.

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Posted by Erika Raphael
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:52 am

I'm going to miss The Bargain Box. I have donated lots of my things to it. I loved shopping there too.

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Posted by Jeanie Smith
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:45 am

Say it ain't so, Bargain Box! I love that store, shop there often, and love that all the profits go to CHC. Great little thrift shop with designer clothes and good quality housewares-- phooey! Won't someone come forward with a comparable size shop at a reasonable rent, so it can relocate rather than close completely?
I will miss it a lot!

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:59 am

Nora Charles is a registered user.

It's little spots like The Bargain Box that help give a town character. I'll miss it. Just please don't tell me Antonio's Nut House is closing!

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Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 31, 2014 at 12:06 pm

So long, Bargain Box. Considering Palo Alto's rush for real estate commerce began in mid-1980's, Bargain Box certainly beat the odds. Good luck in your next phase.

As for Ming's, it is interesting how opinions range about their food and service? As a Ming's customer for decades and a frequent traveler to the Guangdong region of China, I must say that Ming's cuisine does have some similarity to a Hong Kong style for some dishes but hardly across the board. My primary gripe with Ming's is with its trademark unpredictability, as when I expect something tasty, a bland and mushy dish is served and just when I'm ready to give up on them, something nearly remarkable is offered! A smaller, more focused restaurant and menu should help them greatly. They do not compete with the best of the Bay Area but are convenient for locals and happily not in the downtown mess. Looking forward to the new Ming's someday.

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Posted by Dorothy black
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Bargain Box I miss you. That's why I found a thrift shop where I could work when I moved away. Now you won't be there when I come to visit. Commeradie in the store was always at a high level. Our customers were good friends as well as out-of-town folks who checked us out. And over the years we could set our goals higher and higher thanks to all who shopped with us. Thanks for wonderful memories, loyal volunteers all for Esther Clark's dream realized, the Children's Health Council.

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Posted by Stretch
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

We, too, started eating at Ming's on El Camino at Los Robles, and continued eating there a LOT for many years, until it was sold, to Hong Kong people, we were told, and everything changed. The old Ming's had consistently good food and excellent service. There was a waiter who would sing "Happy Birthday" in a rich baritone. It was like family. No more.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 31, 2014 at 5:49 pm

There are plenty of banquet facilities in the area, but for freeway access, parking, thrift, service and food quality, Mings has had the best combination. Say you're setting up a weekday noon-time luncheon for 50 to 80 people drawn from a 15-mile radius. Where do you go?

Dinners/weekends are a different situation regarding traffic and parking, and Mings is still high on the list. Cubberley '73 had a nice reunion dinner for 170 there on a Saturday last October.

The new incarnation of Mings will no longer be large enough for such groups.

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

> Nearly all Chinese patrons. Speaks volumes.

[Portion removed.] Most places in Palo Alto these days are so overpriced I have to agree with that. Never cared much for overpriced Mings ... and never quite got it ... bad service and higher prices to make up for it???? I like Jing Jing, for the local places. Su Hongs is not bad. Hunan Garden is good too. Mandarin Gourmet is pretty good but expensive, and Tai Pei very expensive but just fair. Steam is good, expensive, noisy and crowded - love the 5 crops fried rice though. Hong Kong was the worst Chinese place I've been to. I got a Chow Fun there that was solid stuck together noodles with luke warm sauce poured on to and a few veggies ... and God-awful service, I never went back. Chef Chus is good, but suffers from inconsistency, but not as bad as Mings does or did. Anyone can recommend a good Chinese place always willing to try something new?

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Posted by KLT
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Just learned that MINGS Chinese restaurant will close on December 28th, 2014. The building will be demolitioned for the hotel project.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 6, 2014 at 5:02 am

"Planners like new hotel concept at Ming’s site" said the headline of a Sept 12, 2008 article by Sue Dremann. An allusion by the owners to the 2001 dot-com bust suggests that replacement plans were in the works before turn of the century. How time flies. I still question the wisdom of underground parking so close to the bay.

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