Everyone can take a deep breath: Kowloon has not been sold, and it is not for sale. It’s also not closing — at least not any time soon.
After Boston Restaurant Talk posted news of a Saugus Planning Board meeting that included a preliminary subdivision plan for the property at 948 Broadway on which Kowloon sits, social media was ablaze with anxious posts from Bay Staters who were afraid they might be losing the iconic Route 1 Chinese restaurant, which has been open in one form or another for more than 70 years.
Bobby Wong, whose parents Madeline and Bill Wong opened Kowloon in 1960, calmed some of those anxieties, telling the Saugus Advertiser that the family is merely “looking at other options we might have with the property” sometime in the future. However, Wong did say that the restaurant industry is tough — that is especially true at the moment — and that the next generation doesn’t want to be involved in the operations of Kowloon.
The application for the preliminary subdivision plan, which was presented to the Saugus Planning Board by attorney Richard Magnan, includes two separate lots on the Kowloon property, which could be used for mixed-use development in the future. But, again, not in the present, or any time in the immediate future.
The restaurant released a statement on social media to further calm anxieties, which reads:
Dear friends and fans,
We are not sold or closing soon. There has been a lot of speculation regarding our planning board appearance tonight. We just want to clarify what is actually happening. We are only planning for the future which will be years not months away. The process to get the local boards to do their due diligence and approve any project is not an overnight process. So our family is just getting some preliminary legwork started.
We have just completed our 70th year in business and realize that though rewarding, it’s such a demanding life. And there will be an end at some point...just not right now. So, thank you very much for the outpouring of well wishes. And we will still be around for awhile longer.
Nothing gold can stay, but Kowloon stays another day. At least there’s that.
• Kowloon Property Could Be Redeveloped [SA]
• Subdivision Plan Reportedly Discussed for Kowloon Space in Saugus [BRT]
• Old Route 1 Is Disappearing Fast, but the Ancient Restaurant Signs Remain [EBOS]
• Kowloon Owners to Be Inducted into Hall of Fame [BG]