Back in 2014, it was a sad day when it was announced the Chinatown icon EMPRESS OF CHINA was closing, and offices were going to take over the space. Seriously, noooo. Things were looking up when news came out that City View Restaurant was planning to open in the ground floor.
And now the latest is that Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon (of Hakkasan fame, although this is a solo project) and Asianova Hospitality Group, Inc. are opening a 7,500-square-foot restaurant on the top floor, EMPRESS BY BOON. So happy to hear we aren’t losing access to that jaw-dropping, gorgeous view, and since the Empress of China was known for its fine dining, it’s a nice continuation of that legacy. Look for modern Cantonese cuisine, featuring organic produce grown on the restaurant’s farm in Gilroy, plus some “unexpected ingredients.” Pastry chef Rory MacDonald (Dessert Bar, Gordon Ramsey, Hakkasan) is also on the team.
Look for fine tableware by Ruyi, a contemporary Chinese tableware line from French brand Legle. Bring on some Chinese banquet elegance. UK-based design studio Atelier LLYS is behind the design, which will feature modern elements alongside restored features from the previous Empress, including the beautifully carved panels and the original wooden pergola, which will house the new bar lounge. Yes! They are gunning for an opening in early 2020, we’ll have to see how that timing goes. 838 Grant St. at Clay.
The magical view from the Empress of China (never mind what else may be happening in the bar…). Photo: © tablehopper.com.