Ming’s Dynasty Ended

From HAIF this morning comes the sad news that Ming’s has closed.

Yet another casualty of the diminshing classic Montrose restaurant scene, whose losses have most recently included Golden Room (closed until at least September, and which may or may not reopen as the same restaurant) and the beloved Felix Mexican Restaurant, the closing of Ming’s is one more notch in the belt for the developers and condo-builders who are busily skeletonizing the neighborhood to make way for further gentrification.

Some may not miss Ming’s, as it has been described as a “highly overrated dive” that serves “more mall food than restaurant food” along with a warning that “good service is not something you will find here.”  One reviewer described it succinctly: “If you enjoy difficult parking, eating cheap food in a small shack on styrofoam plates with plastic utensils, then this is definitely the place for you.”  People were definitely not impressed with their “hairy” chicken wings.

The point, however, is that it was a dive.  You didn’t go to Ming’s expecting ground-breaking cuisine or authentic Chinese food.  You went there with your friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon spent browsing the stacks at Half-Price Books or searching for junque at the resale shops down the road.  You met there for a cheap dinner before hitting up Proletariat (also gone now) or Numbers.  You revived yourself there on Sundays when the brunch crowds at La Strada or Baba Yega proved too noisy or self-absorbed.  You took in the weirdness, people-watched, enjoyed the ebb and flow of a cross-section of humanity coming in and out for egg rolls and Chinese eggplant.

Ming’s was Montrose.  Sure, it’s just one small restaurant on a little corner, but it’s representative of a larger issue, a growing sense of discomfort and sadness. 

You’d think that I’m opposed to progress; some kind of anti-development, real estate Luddite.  I’m not.  I just find myself looking around lately and realizing: this isn’t my city anymore.

See ya, Ming’s.  You had a good run.

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