The owners of China Dynasty Arlington will close their doors this spring after more than three decades in Upper Arlington.
John Ko, who owns China Dynasty Arlington with his wife, Elizabeth, confirmed March 19 that the last day of business for the couple’s restaurant will be Mother’s Day, May 12.
China Dynasty has operated at 1689 W. Lane Ave. at the Shops on Lane Avenue for 32 years. Ko and his wife purchased the business in 1998 from Elizabeth’s mother, Lien C. Chen, who stayed on as the restaurant’s head chef.
Ko said his primary reason for closing is because his lease is set to expire and he would have to renew for another five years.
Another big factor is that Chen, the creator of China Dynasty’s Citron, Hunan and Mandarin specialties, is ready to retire, he said.
“The head chef is about to turn 75 and doesn’t want to do it any more,” Ko said.
Since it opened its doors in 1987, China Dynasty has endured roller-coaster economic times and a 2003 retrofit of the Shops on Lane Avenue that left the restaurant situated at the back side of the center.
The store also was the scene of Upper Arlington’s first murder in eight years last June, when Jeffrey B. Harrison, of Columbus, allegedly stabbed 31-year-old Charles McCoy to death outside the restaurant. McCoy was a China Dynasty employee and police believe the stabbing occurred after he argued with Harrison’s girlfriend, Tina Patrick, who also was an employee at the restaurant.
Ko said of the incident that he was “sad it happened,” but his plan to close the business “wasn’t because of that.”
In 2013, China Dynasty celebrated its 25-year anniversary. At that time, Ko credited loyal customers who continued to come back and spread positive reviews for the restaurant’s longevity.
"We've seen, like, two or three generations of families and people continue to try to find us," he said at the time. "I'm thankful for those loyal customers.”
Read more about China Dynasty in the March 28 edition of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.