One of the last vestiges of EaDo's life as Houston's original Chinatown will soon disappear. Long Sing Supermarket, a Chinese grocer and meat market known for its display case filled with hanging pork and ducks, announced on Facebook Wednesday morning that it will soon close.
The grocery store has a cult status among some members of Houston's restaurant community thanks to its incredibly cheap lunch specials, where diners could be rewarded with a heaping plate of char siu (barbecue pork) and duck for about $6. James Beard Award winner Justin Yu touted it as his favorite under-the-radar spot back in 2015.
Count David Buehrer as one of the store's most passionate fans. The barista, who owns a number of coffee shops including Morningstar and Blacksmith with his partner Ecky Prabanto, tells CultureMap that he'll miss it dearly.
"A childhood favorite of mine, Long Sing closing will leave a rice box-sized hole in my heart," Buehrer writes in a text. "I pray to whatever god you believe in it is filled by one of their family members."
Rice Box owner John Peterson has such a devotion to Long Sing that he named his food truck-turned-restaurant after the nickname he and his friends (including Buehrer) gave it.
"I loved going to Long Sing so much that it made sense for me to name my business after the nickname we gave them," Peterson tells CultureMap. "Every time you walk in, it just screams Old Chinatown. Once Long Sing is gone, that’s the knife to the throat for Old Chinatown."
The building's future is uncertain. Although its been up for lease since last year, it could be demolished as part of TXDOT's plans to relocate I-45. Best to go there soon for one last plate from the original Rice Box.