Sydney’s famed Golden Century restaurant is saved from lockdown death under new $4.5m deal with creditors
- Sydney’s iconic Golden Century restaurant saved from lockdown closure
- Deal closed after sale of venue’s legendary wine collection for $1.15 million
- Eatery in Chinatown is a popular place for politicians, foodies and business leaders
- A deal worth a total of $4.5 million was unanimously approved by creditors
A famous Sydney restaurant appears to be rescued from permanent closure during lockdown after creditors voted in favor of a deal to save the iconic eatery.
On Wednesday, the 47 creditors of restaurant Golden Century voted unanimously to give the green light to a $4.5 million deal that will clear the site of its debts.
Frequented by politicians and business leaders and known for their late-night banquets, the restaurant went into administration in August when the lockdown kept crowds out and their lease was concluded.
Famous Sydney restaurant Golden Century (pictured) is saved from permanent closure during lockdown
Restaurant owners Eric Wong (left) Linda Wong (center) and their son Billy Wong (right) have run the Chinatown location since 1990
The new business agreement will allow the venue to open its doors once the lockdown is lifted and reportedly funded after a buyer agreed to pay $1.15 million for the restaurant’s storied wine collection.
Golden Century was opened in 1989 by Eric and Linda Wong who moved to Sydney from Hong Kong, where they ran a successful barbecue restaurant.
In 2012, they opened another venture, The Century at The Star, and their son Billy Wong then opened his own restaurant XOPP in Darling Square.
The other two restaurants have not been placed under management and will also open normally once the lockdown is lifted.
In August, when the Wong family announced on social media that they were likely to close the doors of the three-storey Sussex Street location, they received an outpouring of support from diners.
The legendary Golden Age wine collection (pictured) raised the $1.15 million enough to see the iconic location saved
Restaurant Supervisor May Su (pictured) will be in the usually busy, award-winning Golden Century Seafood Restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown in March 2020
“We are grateful for the many fond memories with our family and friends, customers and supporters. We’ll cherish them forever,” the Wongs said.
“I love you and everything you’ve done for Australia’s Chinatown, hospitality and dining. Thank you,” replied one person.
“I’m so grateful for all the memories, the fun, the great food and for providing a place to eat and drink at 2am after a long day/week. Thank you very much,” added another.
Located just down the street from the Labor Party offices, the eatery has been frequented by politicians, business leaders and an array of colorful characters.
The announcement of an administrator’s appointment was posted on ASIC’s posts published in August, with the restaurant manager blaming their lease for the shutdown and saying they were unprepared to agree to a long-term contract where lockdowns are still an issue.
Golden Century Seafood (pictured) was considered the place to be for Sydney’s elite, hosting lavish banquets and also a haunt for politicians
Golden Century lost $1.1 million in fiscal year 2019 and $590,000 the following year, but recovered to earn $787,905 in the 12 months to June 31, 2021 according to the manager’s report, which was filed with ASIC.
The trustees calculated the outstanding rent at more than $1.5 million through December 2020.
Between July 1 and August 16, 2021, the restaurant made just $10,776 in orders.
Restaurant managers in Chinatown districts across the country said sales fell by up to 90 percent and some businesses collapsed almost overnight after lockdowns were put in place.
Over the years, the restaurant has also hosted some of the world’s most famous chefs, including Heston Blumenthal, Alain Ducasse, Anthony Bourdain, Ferran Adria and Jamie Oliver.