The last couple of years brought a lot of devastating blows with local spots shutting down, hours cutting down, and business just not running as usual. We’ve adjusted to the new norm and happily welcomed indoor dining back but not every place in town has gone completely back to normal.

Empire Chinese Kitchen

In an obvious effort to prioritize the health and safety of their staff and the community, the beloved Empire Chinese Kitchen closed its doors on March 14, 2020, and opened back up strictly for take-out on September 30 that same year. Since then, their doors have been closed, and are merely operating on a take-out window.

Not many businesses could sustain themselves primarily on take-out but this restaurant is so loved and adored and the food they sling is so freaking good that they have been going strong for years as a take-out-only spot.

Have you tried their Lobster Rangoon?! If not, finish this article then run to 575 Congress Street in Portland NOW if you want your world ROCKED.

Will Empire Ever Open for Indoor Dining?

Up until recently, we all heard the stories that Empire Chinese Kitchen was never going to re-open its doors for indoor dining. With a restaurant doing so well on just takeout service, why would it bother putting the cost in to open the dining room back up?

Well, their big thing is small plates using fresh, local, and high-quality ingredients, so in order to fully enjoy the cuisine you need to experience it indoors fresh from the kitchen. Dining indoors is an experience in itself and the interior décor of the restaurant gives a funky Feng shu and stylish and industrial ambiance that adds to the entire experience.

Fantastic music, beautiful light fixtures, a disco Buddha, potted plants, and natural wood are only part of what makes this place special. We have been waiting impatiently for the doors to reopen and the time is finally coming.

Empire Chinese Kitchen to Reopen Dining Room in Portland, Maine

Good news is on the horizon! According to the Portland Press Herald, co-owner Theresa Chan said she's aiming to reopen indoor dining in the restaurant in late spring but has not yet set a date.

The restaurant's main focus right now is its entertainment venue that just opened upstairs but the restaurant's reopening is following close behind.

Keep your eye out! I'll let you know when I know more.

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