A reader alerts me to another reader’s great dismay in this Holiday Season, as the news of the closure of an Ottawa institution is spreading amongst his circle – and as friends go on suicide-watch:
I just learned some truly crushing news which has effectively ruined the holidays for me (particularly our family new year’s tradition).
I see no reason your holidays should be spared ….
After 64 years — the last egg roll
My stomach doesn’t know why I live in this town any more.
There you have it, dear Wafflers. Cathay is no longer, having closed yesterday after 64 years of pleasing generations of palates.
Opened in 1946, the Year of the Dog, this Canadian-Chinese restaurant was always busy for lunch, especially upstairs, where the all-you-can-eat buffet was attracting blue and white collar workers alike, politicians of all trades, children and seniors. Downstairs, where you ordered à-la-carte, the food was better, but the crowd thinner. In many ways.
I have got to admit that I never quite understood the fascination with this place originally known as The Cathay Chop Suey Palace – the food was simple, honest, but wasn’t the finest one could get. Over the years, I have been there on many work lunches with journalists and bureaucrats. I was once summoned there by a Chief of Staff. And, of course, numerous Goodbye Lunches to soon to be ex-colleagues – in fact, the last time I was at Cathay was to celebrate Alan’s departure in June.
No longer will we gather on this Albert street establishment.
Unless the new tenant, who will apparently open an Asian-fusion restaurant, can recreate the magic of Cathay.
For now, Goodbye Spareribs. Goodbye, General Tao. Goodbye, Chowmein. Goodbye, Dumplings. Goodbye, Chicken Wings. Goodbye, Eggrolls. Goodbye, Cathay.