Beloved Binghamton Restaurant Must Move After Church Buys Site
A popular Chinese restaurant is losing its longtime home because a Binghamton church has acquired the property for an expansion project.
Far East Kitchen is shutting down its operation at 287 Main Street on the city's West Side at the end of business Thursday.
Owner Song Chen said he was shocked when he learned he would have to leave the former Giant market plaza after the site was sold .
At first, Chen thought he might close down the restaurant, which has operated at the site since 1991. But he said after customers told him "you can't do that," he worked to find a new location.
Chen said he made arrangements to move to the site of another Chinese restaurant. He plans to set up Far East Kitchen in the space that's been occupied by Red Wok restaurant at 125 Main Street. That's nearly a mile east of the original Far East Kitchen restaurant.
Chen said he's somewhat nervous about the move but he hopes the people who've patronized his business over the years will visit the new place.
Chen, who lives in Vestal, was born in China. He came to the United States when he was 20. He said operating his own business is "the American dream come true."
City Church purchased the former Giant market complex for a planned $6 million project to relocate its operations from downtown Binghamton.
A Giant store originally anchored the plaza. Weis Markets then leased the site until it shut down the location in the summer of 2014.
The property was sold by Binghamton Giant Market for $1.5 million last September. Construction for the new church facility is expected to begin later this spring.
Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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