Tangs’ Kitchen closed their doors for the last time in Shelburne on Sunday (Aug. 15), after five years of serving the community.
The local restaurant officially announced their permanent closing in a Facebook post on Aug. 11.
“After much thoughtful consideration, we regretfully announce that Tangs’ Kitchen Shelburne will be serving its last customers,” wrote the Tang family.
Tang’s Kitchen, formerly located at 120 Owen Sound Street in Shelburne, was opened by siblings Susan, Florence, Simon, and Ricky Tang in 2016. A Chinese cuisine restaurant, Tangs’ Kitchen served a variety of the sibling’s favourite Asian dishes on the menu including stir fry, noodles, fried rice, and spring rolls.
Susan Tang, speaking with the Free Press, said the siblings chose to open their family operated restaurant in the community after passing through the Town several times during trips from their home in Owen Sound to Toronto. It was during these trips that she says they found their love for the community.
“We came here, and we felt good. We really liked the Town so we chose to open our restaurant,” said Tang.
Like many restaurants, Tangs’ Kitchen has struggled financially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With three locations in Shelburne, Collingwood, and Port Elgin, the family found themselves closing the Shelburne and Collingwood restaurants numerous times and in early December announced the closing of their Collingwood restaurant. While facing setbacks from COVID-19, Tang said the restaurant has also faced struggles with staffing trained cooks.
“We have special skills in the wok, it’s not easy to learn, so we interviewed some people but they weren’t to our level of expertise. We want to keep our standard,” said Tang.
After months of struggling both due to COVID-19 and staffing, the siblings made the decisions earlier this month to permanently close the restaurant.
“It was a very hard decision to me, we’re very upset and sorry we can’t serve the community. We like it here, and that’s why we tried to come back to open and hire someone many times, but we can’t stay open,” said Tang.
With the family announcing their closing, many community members shared their sadness at seeing the restaurant go.
“Your restaurant and fabulous food will be missed by our wee town. Sorry to hear about the closing,” wrote one commenter on Tangs’ Kitchen’s Facebook post that announced their closing.
“I am sorry to hear this. This will be a big loss to the Town,” wrote another commenter.
Despite their restaurant leaving the community, Tang said the Shelburne community has meant a lot to both her and her family.
“We really appreciate everybody who came here and supported us. The local people have been so kind, patient, and really understanding and Shelburne has been a very special place,” said Tang.
Tangs’ Kitchen will continue to serve their meals in Port Elgin.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press