While I was a student at the University of Houston, Chinese Star Restaurant is one of my favorite restaurants. The restaurant is one of the last family-owned restaurants to operate in the university. It was unfortunate to see it closing down since I always enjoy eating there. On its last day, I took some photos to preserve its memory.
The restaurant served a large number of students at an affordable price compared to other options in the university. I worked at a minimum wage job at the time, so I often went to enjoy the foods. Their foods were very greasy so I only have to eat one plate and its calorie can last me the entire day. For about $5, I can get enough foods to feed three Vietnamese. During the lunch hours, the line of customers would extend all the way out of the entrance.
Chinese Star has been a part of the University of Houston for 27 years. The restaurant’s owner, Priscilla Yang, did not want it to end. The university made the decision to bring in a different business by not letting Yang renew the lease.
I don’t like this at all. Dining options in the university have been getting expensive. Most options are fast food chain restaurants that exist everywhere else like Taco Bell, McAlister’s, Chick-fil-A, and Subway. Even McDonald there is more expensive than Chinese Star when comparing the quality and quantity of foods you can get for $5. I feel that the university’s decision to close Chinese Star is purely financially motivated. The administration probably wants to bring in big name franchises who can afford to pay more lease than the small family-owned restaurant.
The students lost not only an affordable dining place but also a sense of cultural identity that has been part of the university for 27 years. Many students who ate at Chinese Star remember the warm and welcoming atmosphere this restaurant had. Even after a few years passed, Yang still remembers me when I visited the restaurant again on its last day. She even gave me a free lunch and soup.
Yang said she was looking for a different location to open a restaurant. We may one day hear about Chinese Star again.
After I finished eating, I walked around the university to burn all the extra calories off. I snapped a few pictures so I don’t get fat.