Today I heard some depressing news. The Golden Swan is closing. This goes back to my life in the US. The Golden Swan was a Chinese restaurant with a difference. Unlike most American Chinese restaurants serving Americanised versions of Chinese food, where most of the dishes are indistinguishable because they all contain MSG and taste sweet, they actually served Chinese food that tasted like Indian Chinese. I realise, American version or Indian version, they both aren’t authentic Chinese but so what? Taste is a personal preference.
So why am I so devasted espically since I no longer live in the US? Well, the Golden Swan was my regular dinner haunt. It was more than just another restaurant for me. Spencer and his family who ran the restaurant took personal care of all their customers, always with a smile. That personal touch is missing in most chain stores in the US.
For me it was my second home. I’ve spent countless evening there with a book in hand eating my regular (i.e. “Spencer, I leave my dinner choice to you. It’s up to you!) I’d finish my dinner and just stay on reading the book. Rita, Spencer’s wife would come up and tell me there was no hurry for me to leave and to take my time. They always made me feel as if I was family.
Spencer would come through in emergencies too. School would be get over at 8.50 pm. I’d call Spencer and ask him to have a take away ready for me.
Did I mention the food always tasted great there? Spencer’s cooking was simply superb.
I gave them a call today. The economy hasn’t been doing too well in Cleveland and it has adversely affected them. They’ve ended up loosing money in the buisness and have to sell their house. They seem to be philosophical about it. It’s sad to hear that another small buisness close down. Although I’d like to blame big buisness, the chains and franchisees for it, I don’t think I’d be justified. I now have one less place to visit when I’m in Cleveland.