Wok Inn Still Remains Vacant After Closing 6 Years Ago
The Wok Inn was a Portland landmark for 31 years until December 8, 2013 when owner Shukee Lee closed the fast food Chinese restaurant and retired. Even if you never ate at the Wok Inn, if you'd ever been to Portland you saw the iconic sign topped with a flaming wok while waiting to get through traffic at busy Morrills Corner.
After 6 years the building still stands vacant. Plywood covers the entrance, vandals have sprayed graffiti on some parts of the building, but the sign still stands with a "For Lease" sign added below it. So why hasn't anyone opened a new business on the spot?
In March of 2016, The Portland Press Herald reported that the building would be demolished and an Auto Zone parts store would be built on the site. It's been almost three years and no Auto Zone and the lease sign remains up.
One person wrote a letter to editor of the Press Herald that year expressing that Morrills Corner was not the place for an auto parts store, saying "...a 6,700-square-foot auto parts store does nothing to change the intersection for the positive, and detracts from it commercially and aesthetically." That doesn't always stop development in Portland though.
So as we come up on six years to the day that Wok Inn closed, we can't help but wonder if anything will take it's place. Maybe if Morrills corner got the revamp that Woodfords Corner got recently to alleviate the flow of traffic, it might be a bit more attractive to potential businesses.
If you're interested, the building lease is $70,000 a year.
If something were to go in the Wok Inn location, what would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.