Beloved Chinatown restaurant is forced to shut down as customers abandon the once-bustling eatery over coronavirus fears
- Popular Chinatown restaurant closes doors after customers abandon them
- Shark Fin House opened in Melbourne in 1989 but has been forced to close
- Owner said people had stopped going to the restaurant due to coronavirus
A popular Chinatown restaurant has been forced to close its doors after three decades, as customers abandoned the eatery due to fears of catching the deadly coronavirus.
Shark Fin House was opened in 1989 and this week co-owner Gabriel Chan was forced to announce its closure.
Fighting back tears, Mr Chan told The Age the business had seen an 80 per cent drop off in customers and they had to lay off 40 permanent staff and 10 casuals.
Mr Chan said he was also at risk of having to close the sister restaurant if customer numbers didn’t pick up (patrons pictured enjoying a meal at Shark Fin House)
Mr Chan said there was a ’95 per cent chance’ he will never reopen the restaurant.
He now has one remaining restaurant, the Shark Fin Inn, which he has urged people to support in order to avoid its closure.
‘We’ll do everything to try to save the restaurant. This is a bad, bad time,’ he said.
‘We’re very sad, very unhappy, but we still have to work, so I would tell the people don’t scare, come to the restaurant, support us.
‘Hopefully, in two months, we will get a better result.’
The popular restaurant had a popular following and was given strong reviews by patrons.
Fans of the restaurant lamented its closure on social media.
‘Seriously, how dump are people to avoid a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne due to fears of a virus in China?’ one user wrote.
‘One of the best! Very sad,’ another replied.
‘What is wrong with us? Please return to the Chinese restaurants,’ another added.
Popular Melbourne Chinatown restaurant Shark Fin House (pictured) has shut its doors after business dropped by up to 80 per cent due to fears over the coronavirus