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Oct 5, 2010 05:09 PM

Has Silk Road Palace closed?

We drove past it this evening and it was gated -- at dinner time. This long-time neighborhood (UWS) stand-by might not be (or have been!) gastronomically amazing, but it was decent, reliable, and featured endless free wine.

Anyone heard anything??

Silk Road Palace
447B Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

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  1. Yes, it has closed. We walked by there on Sunday and it was shuttered. We spoke with one of the workers from EJ's (next door). He said that after dinner on Saturday night, Frank just said "we're closing" and sent everyone home. And then a truck showed up and they emptied the place. The EJ worker didn't have any explanation though. We too are sad since we thought it was a reliable place for pretty good Americanized Chinese food. Though the wine was awful, Frank and his staff were always just lovely to us.

    1. This is very sad news. Some items on the menu were pretty decent, but the experience was always a trip back to college. Are there any other alternatives to "China Wine" now that the original is closed?

      5 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        Agree closing is sad. You'll find The Cottage on 77th & Amstdm a near clone - including the bad free wine. But it's half the size so beware: Wait times for tables will now be even longer!

        1. re: JABFoodie

          The Cottage always looked very staid in comparison to the sociable atmosphere at Silk Road Palace. I've heard there's an alternative called Pearls, but I'm not certain where that is.

          Silk Road Palace
          447B Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

          1. re: JungMann

            Pearls is on Amsterdam at maybe 98th, if that's the one you mean. I didn't know they did the free wine thing, though.

            The Cottage wasn't even close to Silk Road. The food wasn't as good and the atmosphere, as JungMann said, wasn't as convivial. (We tried Cottage twice and did not like it.)

            1. re: LNG212

              i definitely agree. while silk road wasn't great, the cottage does not come close to the atmosphere and food at silk road. funny thing is i nearly typed a CH post about my predicted closing of one of these two chinese restaurants once the new grand sichuan opened nearby on amsterdam. but, apparently, my prediction of the cottage closing first was dead wrong. oh well... i think i may have ordered in from pearls once. nothing great. i don't think they have the BAD free wine.

      2. Frank is a really good guy and his people are also really good; they even smile if you are nice to them. More important, the food is really good, not even counting the free wine. So does anyone know where Frank is and if those who are so inclined can help him in some way?

        5 Replies
        1. re: jeffgail

          You're so right, Jeff! I've lived in the neighb for years and Silk Road stood out for the consistency of its well prepared, not excellent, but good, Chinese menu and even more so, for hospitable, gracious service. Regardless of how busy they were, I always received a greeting and often some converstion from Frank, and smiles from several of the staff there. Very few modest places do nearly as well in treating customers like, well, customers! ...Last night I walked by on my way home and there were several lit memorial candles on the sidewalk in front of the shuttered doorway with a sign that said "We miss you, Frank."

          1. re: jeffgail

            We recently heard it was a rent issue. The Silk Road lease came up (makes sense since it's been about 20 years since they opened). The landlord wanted a huge increase (I heard an increase of $3000 per month from a worker at a nearby establishment). It seems there was just no way for Frank to make that work.

            I truly do hope he opens up somewhere else. Preferably in this neighborhood. :)

            1. re: LNG212

              I was told that he lives in Syosset, Long Island. I think we should send out a search party.

              1. re: RachelHelene

                I can confirm his location. Frank and I shared a sacred bond. One which could only be forged over unlimited Franzia. He once told me specifically where in Syosset he lives, but I got drunk and forgot.

            2. re: jeffgail

              I briefly saw Frank out at the Flushing mall food court about 3 weeks ago.
              He was there with a few of the people from Silk Road.
              I hadn't realized at the time that Silk Road was closed.
              Maybe we will get lucky and he was scouting out some of the food places in the Flushing mall for ideas.

            3. I particularly remember the Hispanic bus boy. He was always very nice and remembered the types of free drinks we liked (usually soft drinks rather than the wine). I hope that he's found another place to work.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amstrgy

                Sinfo? He was great. But he had been very ill for quite some time before the place closed. He was in the hospital for a while. I think it was some sort of stroke. He had not returned by the time they closed. Frank had been really worried about him.

              2. It is still closed.
                But, there is a new sign above the restauarant.
                "West Lake Palace".

                This is interesting since West Lake is a famous resort town in China.

                "Due to its prominent historical and cultural status among Chinese scenic resorts, West Lake was elected as a National Key Scenic Resort in 1982, one of Ten Scenic Resorts in 1985 and national 5A tourist resort in 2006."