Let the good times roll: Golden Palace celebrates 63 years with half-price egg rolls

Golden Palace egg rolls
Enthusiastic diners line up outside the Golden Palace to celebrate the restaurant's anniversary with half-off egg rolls. Photos courtesy of the Golden Palace.

Ask Bill Kwong why his restaurant is still in business after more than 60 years and he’ll tell you it’s simply because it’s been around so long — that, and maybe the egg rolls.

“After more than 60 years in the business and the restaurant being run by the same family, a lot of the restaurant’s success can be found in its longevity,” says Kwong, the third-generation owner of the Golden Palace, which first opened its doors on Carling Avenue in 1960.

According to Kwong, customers are able to return to a restaurant where they know what to expect from one visit to the next and there is comfort in that. 

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“We are a family business but our customers are family, too,” says Kwong, who started working the oil fryer when he was in high school. Continuing at the restaurant throughout his college career, he learned almost everything there was to know about the kitchen and food preparation early on.

Now, Kwong is ready for a party. The restaurant will celebrate its 63rd anniversary on April 15.

To jumpstart the festivities, the eatery is preparing 6,300 of its traditional, chicken and vegetarian egg rolls for a half-price event. Plus, Kwong says they will be giving away jerseys and hockey sticks from the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, signed by hockey players. 

“We are excited to announce that after a three-year break our half-price egg roll anniversary event is back!” the restaurant says on its Facebook page. 

While there have been many challenges over the years, the COVID-19 pandemic took a particular toll on restaurants, says Christina Santini, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Due to enforced closures, capacity restrictions, a decrease in foot traffic and the time and effort needed to abide by public safety requirements, “only 30 per cent of (CFIB) members in the hospitality sector are back to pre-pandemic revenues,” says Santini.

While just over one-quarter of businesses in sectors such as hospitality are still open after 18 years and 52 per cent have been operating for 11 years or more, 63 years is uncommon, Santini admits. 

“Restaurants who still have their doors open have demonstrated a lot of resilience,” she says. 

Kwong says, while it has been a challenge, he enjoys his position as owner.

“I give a lot of credit to my staff and the customers who continue to support us during the hard times in the past two and a half years but have got us here,” he says. 

Sophia Adams is a journalism student at Algonquin College and joins OBJ on an internship.

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