The beloved King of Kings restaurant in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley has been forced to shut its doors after more than 30 years of trade.
Although the restaurant is yet to publicly explain the closure, a neighbouring restaurant owner asserted that the ongoing coronavirus fears caused a significant decline in traffic for Chinese establishments in the area.
“Their main business was dependent on Asian tourism,” Nelson Chung of Super Bowl Chinese Restaurant told Broadsheet. “Everyone wants their business to flourish. No one wants a bad week, because all the people working there will lose their jobs. [Restaurant owners] are so dependent on people eating [out].”
The news comes just two weeks after Melbourne’s beloved Shark Fin House was forced to shut its doors after a whopping 80% drop in business following the coronavirus outbreak. Thankfully, the local community rallied around the establishment and it was able to reopen.
Australia China Business Council boss Helen Sawczak has called for more support of Chinese-Australian businesses amid the virus outbreak.
“We have more than one million people of Chinese heritage who are Australian citizens who have had no contact with coronavirus,” she told 7News. “It’s important that there is not a backlash against these Chinese businesses which have been operating in Australia for decades.”
“This is not a China virus. Coronavirus is a global humanitarian crisis. It’s important we don’t target members of our community who might be of Chinese ethnicity.”
The iconic Fortitude Valley seafood restaurant updated their opening hours on February 15, according to a post on their Facebook page.
There has been no word from King of Kings in regard to why the establishment shut its doors, but their phone and email have been disconnected.