Saturday, February 26, 2011

Whatever Happened to China Gate?

The landmark Cedar Center restaurant fell victim to greed and mendacity, false promises, vanity and a floundering real estate market.

Okay, you know how the memories are triggered, a scent, a visual, a suggestion from a friend, and the floodgates open. Memories of the plentiful and comforting taste of dishes at China Gate Restaurant on the north side of Cedar Road in South Euclid, Ohio will never vanish. Memories of lunches and dinners with family and friends.  I frequently read online of people who remember the egg rolls, the egg foo yung, the sub-gum chow mein, fill in the blank from column A and column B.  Some of these Chinese-American dishes we can duplicate and many we can't.  The thing is that even if not authentic chinese dishes, they were food we ate when we wanted to feel at home.

The Cedar Center strip of our childhood, of our adulthood,  is no more.

Not satisfied with the unglamorous aging strip mall lined with businesses well-used by the community, having served us for many years, for generations, it was torn down. Rather than funding a facelift, South Euclid decided to go for the promises and vision of a developer rather than respecting the past.  The gaza strip wasn't pretty, it was an amalgam of ugly buildings but we shopped there, we dined out there, we knew it as part of our life experience. It was a comfort place with risky parking in front and plenty of space in the rear. And now it is gone.

According to what I heard, the folks who owned or worked at China Gate restaurant there were given to understand that they would be welcome to return when a new building rose from the ashes. The sad thing is that China Gate never reopened anyplace else.  Their departure took the recipes for their distinctive Chinese-American cooking into limbo.

The affordable Marc's will be replaced by Gordon Foods and soon other big box or franchise retailers. No longer will we see local businesses, the victims again as are we. Until then, we can look at the now empty lot to see the fate of pleasant memories.

3/2012 Gordons is in, there are signs of construction to come. But the process is long and there is no China Gate phoenix yet.
4/01/12 Don't let the date fool you.  According to an announcement by the City of South Euclid, China Gate will be among a few restaurants back in business by the summer.  We'll can only hope.


Anonymous said...

So Sad... I just moved back into town and my favorite Chinese restaurant, a place I enjoyed with my mother from my youth, until her passing, is no more...

Mags said...

Although there is a new parking lot on this site connected to Gordon foods, there is a rumor that China Gate might be back in the strip once rebuilt.
We'll believe it when we see it.

Anonymous said...

China Gate is re-opening in the same location in mid-January 2013 :) It will be a take out restaurant with the same great food, same owners, same recipe's!

Anonymous said...

China Gate has reopened next door to the Pet Smart. It is only take out no sit down eating. I have ordered food from them twice the first time was the day reopened and the second about three weeks later. It was very good.

Mags said...

Oops, I went there the other day, placed an order and I think they are getting back on track. It was great to see Henry again.