IRVING PARK — The House of Wah Sun, a popular north-central restaurant known for its Chinese cuisine and tiki drinks, is moving to Irving Park after losing its lease, its landlord said.
Mark Chiang signed a lease to move into the former Gold Nugget creperie at 3234 W. Irving Park Road. The city approved its restaurant license on June 23 and new signs were to be hoisted on the building Wednesday morning.
“We plan to move there by the end of July,” Chiang said.
Two paper signs in the windows of the Golden Nugget had been announcing for months that Wah Sun was “coming soon.” The rest of the building remained marked with Golden Nugget signs.
But on Wednesday morning, a construction crew arrived to remove the Golden Nugget sign hanging above Irving Park Road to replace it with a House of Wah Sun sign.
The restaurant will initially be BYOB because Chiang cannot apply for a liquor license until it operates from the new location, he said.
He hopes the city will approve the licenses before the end of the year so he can start serving the restaurant’s tiki cocktails again, he said.
Wah Sun is located at 4319 N. Lincoln Ave. in the North Center since 2001. Previously located near the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square, take-out only.
Original owner Melvin Gin sold the restaurant to Chiang in 2001 and remained the owner until his death six years ago. His children then took over the property, Chiang said.
Chiang said he was on a month-to-month lease until he learned last year that the building had been sold to a developer.
While the original North Central location remains open, Chiang said he will close it when the Irving Park location is ready.
Since taking over the business, House of Wah Sun’s menu has focused on Americanized Chinese cuisine. But once the restaurant moves, he plans to add Sichuan-style and Korean-Chinese fusion dishes based on dishes he eats at home, he said.
“I’m from South Korea and my chef, Chef Ping [Du], he comes from Sichuan. So we’re both going to offer our customers original dishes that we’ve never really shown them before,” Chiang said.
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