Happy Garden Restaurant to close its doors in October
Restaurant owners announced they were being evicted in a Facebook post on Aug. 12
The landmark neighbourhood restaurant often credited with introducing Edmonton to green onion cakes is being evicted from its Parkallen location.
The Happy Garden Restaurant first opened its doors in 1980. Its original owner, Siu To, quickly became a regular feature at many of the city's markets and festivals, where he sold the cakes, which many think of as "Edmonton's food."
Susan Tang's mother started working there one year later. In 1986, her parents bought the restaurant, which they've been running ever since. Today, Tang works there herself as the manager.
About three years ago, the restaurant's long-time landlord sold the building. Since then, Tang said her family has seen their rent double, and have run into other issues as well.
"From that point on, there's been kind of growing uncertainty."
Earlier this month, Tang says she received a call from their new landlord, telling them they had three months to vacate the premises.
Because her parents were out of town when the call came in, Tang put off telling them until she could do it face to face. They were heartbroken when they heard the news, she said.
"They took on this restaurant with the belief that if they worked hard they would be able to provide for their family. There were a lot of tough years where they didn't believe they'd make it this far. Unfortunately, now with the unexpected deadline, they are left scrambling to figure out what the next step is."
Some customers unhappy with the news have suggested the family simply move to a new location — but Tang says the thought of starting over again is too much for her parents, who had planned to retire in a few years.
According to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page, the Tangs expect to shut down Happy Garden in mid-October.