Very sad news: Dusty old sixth-story date spot Empress of China is closing at the end of the year. The Chinatown view bar with its fishtanks, Naugahyde-upholstered stools, and mediocre drinks is being eulogized already on Inside Scoop, which calls the place "simultaneously average and exceptional," and notes that it's yet another example of one of SF's longtime quirky mainstays biting the dust in recent years.

Following on the deaths of places like Woodward's Garden, Sam Wo, and Marlena’s, the loss of Empress of China will hurt. The building is being sold and will be converted to office space — something we didn't realize there was such a market for in Chinatown — and it sounds like December will be its swan song.

The news of some new legislation to encourage the preservation of "legacy businesses" like Empress of China comes a bit too late to save the 47-year-old bar/wedding venue. So, get there while you still can. As Jonathan Kauffman wrote just two years ago, "It is impossible not to love this place."