Heartbreaking news from the Chinatown dive restaurant scene today as Inside Scoop reports Sam Wo, the century-old institution on Washington Street will close its doors forever after dinner service Friday evening. Although it was never known for having particularly good food, the tiny, three-story joint was popular among the Beats back in the 50s before it enjoyed another cult resurgence thanks to its "sponsorship" of Late Night With Conan O'Brien a few years ago.
According to Inside Scoop, owner David Ho is closing the doors after Friday night because of they've been running in to some problems with the fire department and the kitchen is too old for renovations. As Ho explained, "Too old. Everything’s too old. The building is too old. It’s very sad." Those of you who have ever eaten at Sam Wo might have noticed this already, since patrons have to enter the restaurant through the kitchen.
Just for old time's sake, we'll let Conan take us on a tour of the place. The fun starts at the 2:35 mark:
As we mentioned, tomorrow is Sam Wo's last fling and there are no plans to re-open anywhere else in town. Which is fine, really, it just wouldn't be Sam Wo in any other location. PRO-TIP for those of you hoping to sneak in one last meal at Sam Wo: the fortune cookie-free establishment stays open until 3 a.m., so there ought to be plenty of time to dish up one last meal for all the eager foodies looking to check this one off of their dance cards.