Update: King of Kings has announced that it will reopen in May following renovations.
Iconic Fortitude Valley restaurant King of Kings has closed. The enormously popular yum cha eatery, which first opened in 1988, appears to have closed earlier this month.
Initially the reasons for the closure had not been made public, but neighbouring restaurateur Nelson Chung, co-owner of Super Bowl Chinese Restaurant, said the area had suffered a precipitous decline in tourist traffic on the back of coronavirus fears and travel bans from China.
“Their main business was dependent on Asian tourism,” Chung told Broadsheet when interviewed for a story on the coronavirus scare’s impact on Brisbane’s Chinese restaurant scene. Some of the area’s restaurants have suffered a 60 per cent drop in business in recent weeks.
“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].”
Broadsheet attempted to contact King of Kings’ owners, but both the restaurant’s phone and email were disconnected. Its last post on Facebook prior to this week's update was a February 15 change of business hours.
The restaurant’s entranceway on Wickham Street is closed behind a roller door. Broadsheet also attempted to reach King of King’s landlord for more information on the closure, but hadn’t made contact at the time of publication.
For more on the major impact coronavirus is having on some of Brisbane’s best Chinese restaurants, read Broadsheet’s report here.
This story was updated on February 28 to include new information about the restaurant's closure.