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Chung King Restaurant, 20 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center): 1990s   8 comments

Posted at 11:38 pm in historic,restaurants

I like to take pictures in the afternoon, because it seems to me the light is best then (leaving aside the fact that I rarely get my act together before 1 or 2pm anyway if I don't have to..), and so since I happened to be out in the Intersection Center area one Saturday afternoon recently, I decided to walk the whole place and take a bunch of pictures. I think I've already used some, and others will show up from time to time.

This former Chinese restaurant really caught my eye because of the life-sized cut-out figure still affixed to the front wall. I wouldn't call it fine art, but someone put a good bit of work into it once upon a time and it's a shame that it will probably go under the wrecking ball sooner or later. I was going to get a lot closer to the building and do my standard trying to look into the doors etc, but as I turned the corner, I saw a Highway Patrol car sitting beside the next defunct business. I believe there was a major drunk driving crackdown on at the time, and I suppose they were watching Broad River for people they could pull. I know I wasn't doing anything wrong, and I know the Highway Patrol could care less about most non-car related shenanigans, but it made me a bit nervous, so I made sure to flourish the camera very ostentatiously, and tried to look very much like I was not "casing the joint"...

I don't know what happened to Chung King. I think a lot of Chinese restaurants are family run and operate on a shoestring. Perhaps the place put the kids through college and it was time for mom & pop to retire. Perhaps being in a dying strip mall meant there was too little drive by traffic. To me it seems like the place has been closed forever, so I'm saying 1990s in the tag line, but apparently it was open recently enough that one of the online restaurant sites thought it was worth entering in their database -- something that does not give me a great deal of confidence in the rest of their listings!

Written by ted on September 29th, 2008

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8 Responses to 'Chung King Restaurant, 20 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center): 1990s'

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  1. I believe that originally in the 1970s this was a locl deli called Bojangles, no relation to the fast-food chicken chain.

    Tom

    1 Oct 08 at 6:03 am

  2. This was one of my weekly lunch stops back in the late 80s to early 90s. It was very popular & would fill up that floor space most days. I never went for dinner but the interior was sufficiently decorated with oriental stuff that made it cozy but cluttered. The lunch buffet was a small bar (similar to Little Mexico's) and by high noon the line would stretch back to the front door. Oh, I forgot to mention that yes, the food was very good. Their chicken wings were the best. Then suddenly they were closed. It then seemed like years before another Chinese place came to the Dutch Square area.

    John R

    1 Oct 08 at 6:27 pm

  3. The place got shut down by the health department. The owner was fond of cats and had about a dozen of them hanging in the freezer, supposedly for his own consumption.

    joe

    4 Oct 08 at 1:51 am

  4. We had friends at USC when we were in college who were from Hong Kong. They said this place was the most authentic!

    Debbie

    11 Feb 09 at 7:45 pm

  5. Where is intersection center?

    Mr Bill

    12 Feb 09 at 3:09 pm

  6. Behind Sandy's Hot Dogs on Broad River Road. Without going through parking lots, there are two "main" access points, one on Broad River not far past I-20 and the other off of Dutch Square Boulevard.

    ted

    12 Feb 09 at 3:12 pm

  7. I can't say much about the owner with his kitties in the freezer. But I'll never forget going to this restaurant every month, as my mom had to make her payments to the Service Merchandise store, for whatever she had bought there.

    My mom would help me with my plate of food (I was around 8-10 years old at the time), they would have this large bowl of sweet and sour sauce to go with their tempura chicken, then we would all sit down and enjoy the wonderful food. I still have a habit of calling sweet and sour sauce "red sauce", as I didn't know the proper term back then.

    I, too have always liked the painted geisha on the front of the building. And I was sad to see it close down. Although it was kind of a "friend of a friend" thing, my mom heard that after the restaurant closed, they went back home to China. Again, I don't personally think much of that, as it seemed to be more like a non-catty type of gossiping.

    SaraU

    30 Jun 14 at 1:38 am

  8. Loved the place... Very small buffet, but oh so good. When I was a kid back in the 80's and early 90's, my mom worked at the salon at White's and we'd go to Chung King all the time. And when I was a teen in the mid to late 90's, my friends and I would eat there at least once a week. It was very dark inside, not fancy at all, but the best. Food was fresh and authentic, not mass produced like so many of those super Chinese buffets featuring 50+ entrees. They had approx. eight to 10 hot items, such as: fried rice, lo mein, wings, sweet and sour chicken, w/ the "red sauce," peppered steak, egg rolls, fried wontons, Chinese donuts and I think they may have had the Chinese ribs, as well. There was also a salad bar... But who wanted that?!!!? There was chocolate pudding-- ugh, and jello, I think. Po did like the sliced peaches from the can. I always finished my meal with a few slices.

    We'd also order from the regular menu at night... They were the best in town. Fond memories!

    ... And my mom was also always in Service Merchandise, either buying something or putting something on layaway. I hated that store cause we always stayed too long, and the exit doors were so far from the front parking lot. But I loved their catalog cause it featured toys and fun stuff in the back.

    DeeDee

    27 Jan 15 at 11:16 pm

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