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Lee’s Garden to close doors after over three decades of feeding Houston

Owners overwhelmed with community support and non-stop orders before closure
Khon, Chau Ly with son Jonathan and grandchildren. (Submitted photo/Houston Today)

For those enjoying delicacies such as chicken chow mein and ginger beef, there are just a few more weeks left to enjoy these dishes, before the popular Lee’s Garden permanently shuts shop.

Lee’s Garden, located at the Pleasant Valley Plaza, will be closing its doors on May 28. Chau Ly, of the restaurant told Black Press Media, that the past three decades had been much more than they had anticipated when they first started the restaurant 34 years ago.

“When we first opened, we were planning to run the restaurant for maybe just five years. We thought five years is all we are going to stay for, and then we will move. But we fell in love with Houston and we never wanted to move after that,” she said.

After feeding the Houston community and others from outside the town, for over three decades, the restaurant closure comes as a result of Khon Ly, the owner and, the main support behind the wok’s retirement plans.

“My husband’s leg isn’t doing great so I think it is time. We are sad, but Khon’s health is a priority and it is time we retire,” she said. “We will be home, taking care of our grandkids, taking them to school and such.”

In the time that the restaurant has been around, the Lys have witnessed so many milestones and major events, including the pandemic.

However, despite the restrictions, with the option of takeout orders, the restaurant was busier than ever, Chau explained.

Even now, a testament to the popularity of the restaurant is how busy they have been since the announcement of its closure.

“We are constantly getting orders, so many people wanting to eat before we close. Everybody is coming from everywhere and even on my two days off, I had to go in and prep,” said Chau.

As a community, Houston embraced Lee’s Garden immediately when the restaurant first opened and the community has showered love since, said Chau.

“Even now, after finding out that we are closing the restaurant, many of our regulars have threatened to come to our house for the food,” Chau said with a chuckle.

Chau noted that several from the community were sad to see the restaurant close but she wanted to remind everyone there still was time to enjoy the food Lee’s Garden and the restaurant would even be accepting all gift certificates until May 25, after which those certificates won’t be valid anymore.

Upon closure, the restaurant owners will be donating dishes, plates, silverware and some of the equipment that the restaurant owns, to Houston’s Link to Learning.

“We are so grateful to be part of this community; they have been superb. We feel sad that we are closing the restaurant, but we are going to stay in Houston; we aren’t going anywhere. We love Houston, this is our hometown,” concluded Chau.