King Fong Café
Help preserve one of Omaha’s most fascinating places, The King Fong Café.
The oldest Chinese restaurant in our city.
The King Fong building (as we call it today) was built in 1890 on Omaha’s main thoroughfare of the time, 16th Street. Over the past 129 years, it has ‘lived’ through various iterations, and is inherently tied to many historic and prominent citizens of our community, including current owner, Alexander Payne.
The King Fong Café opened its doors in 1920. It is famous for its local mystique and lavish interior ornamentation. The traditional Chinese furniture and décor was transported from China by the original owner, Chin Ah Gin. Chin traveled to Canton to acquire elaborately carved camphor wood panels, inlaid mother-of-pearl teak tables & chairs, ornate chandeliers, and silk embroideries. The Tiffany glass windows in the building are original to Hanson’s Beautiful Café, the first restaurant in the building, which opened in 1908.
The café is a rare example of classic Chinese art. Most of China’s traditional art was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in an attempt to rid the country of the ‘Four Olds’ – old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas. All the more reason to preserve and protect this unique place of historical and cultural importance.
With your support, we will prepare a nomination to place the King Fong Café on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the Nation’s historic sites worthy of preservation. Additionally, on the community level, our nomination will proceed to the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission for local landmark designation. Omaha Landmarks are covered by a comprehensive preservation ordinance which regulates work done on the properties and protects them from demolition and undesirable alterations.
“… historic buildings add character and diversity to our city; two things that enrich all our lives. A community that retains its older properties will be blessed with beautiful and interesting places to live, work, and play.“