After 33 years, Fire Wok, the beloved family-owned Chinese restaurant in downtown Mission, is closing its doors. The last day of serving customers is tomorrow, Nov. 30.
“Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your families, as you have been a part of ours,” reads a sign posted outside of the restaurant at 5820 Johnson Drive. “We will miss all of you and value every time you have chosen to sit at our table and share your lives with us.”
Luong and Tam Huynh opened the restaurant in 1985 shortly after moving to the Kansas City area from Dallas. Natives of Vietnam, they moved to the United State in 1979 after being sponsored by a family in Minnesota.
The restaurant has been at the center of their family ever since.
Luong and Tam’s daughter Bonnie has been working at the restaurant since she was a teenager, and said her father’s health factored into the decision to shut down. Luong is now 83.
“He had hoped to make some changes so that we could continue to run it without him,” Bonnie said, “but it just didn’t feel right.”
Fire Wok was well known for its crab rangoon, hot and sour soup, crispy chicken wings and Springfield cashew chicken. The restaurant had a loyal following of regulars.
“That’s going to be the hardest part,” said Bonnie, “is the reality check next week when we can’t walk out into the dining room to see all our friends. They really were like part of the family. These people came in here every week.”
Marty Keaton-Ferren was among the restaurant’s regulars and has been going there since 1988. She said the restaurant was the “first taste of Chinese” for not only herself — but all four of her daughters.
“They all love Fire Wok,” Keaton-Ferren said. “I’m really going to miss them, and wish the parents and all their kids well in retirement and new beginnings.”
The restaurant was a popular lunch destination during week days for its buffet, but was closed on the weekends so the family could spend time together. The buffet won’t be open again, but a note in the window says the restaurant is still taking dine-in and carry-out orders from its full menu through tomorrow.