Beloved Tumwater Chinese restaurant closes

South Pacific served customers on Capitol Boulevard for 31 years

rboone@theolympian.comJuly 18, 2013 

South Pacific, a longtime Chinese restaurant that served brewery workers and occupied a visible corner in Tumwater at Custer Way and Capitol Boulevard, has closed, according to a note left by the owners of the business on the front door.

The longtime owners are the Ng family.

The note explains that the restaurant has been tentatively sold to a new owner.

“There will be a remodel by the new owner, and we believe it will continue to be a restaurant,” the note states.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been with us for the past 31 years,” the note goes on to say. “Thank you to all our vendors, the great musicians who have graced our stage, and the wonderful people who have been part of the South Pacific family since 1982.”

The restaurant closed July 15. An Ng family member could not be reached Wednesday.

Doug Johnston, 63, of Tumwater, said the restaurant will be missed.

It was a regular destination for Johnston after work where he could get Chinese food to go for him and his wife. “It was our favorite,” he said.

Now, he’ll have to start “experimenting,” he said, in order to find another restaurant that offers the same flavor and staff effort.

Johnston said the old owner and new owner deserve a “fortune cookie that calls for a good future.”

“Let’s hope for good things,” he said.

Although South Pacific has operated on that Tumwater corner for many years, it wasn’t the first restaurant and bar at that site, according to Thurston County Assessor data.

A restaurant and bar has occupied the site since 1938.

Past business names include Red Kelly’s and the Oregon Trail restaurant.

This isn’t the first time the Ng family has tried to sell the business. Byron Ng told The Olympian in May 2008 that they had received an offer to buy the property and building. That deal fell through.

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