After almost 30 years of serving up their homemade Szechuan sauce in Brookline, Chef Chang's House on Beacon Street is preparing to close its doors.
Chef Chang's House could close as soon as Sunday, but an exact closing date has not been set, said Su-Mei Chan, who opened the restaurant in December of 1980 with her husband Tony Chan and Su-Mei's father Kek Chang, who lent his name to the business.
"Of course I'm very sad," Su-Mei said Tuesday. "This is my home."
But a down economy combined with personal reasons to convince the Brookline family to sell, Su-Mei said.
Some of characteristics that contributed to the restaurant's success for almost three decades also factored in the decision to close.
Su-Mei said much of the restaurant's staying power came from careful quality control and consistency in preparing its Szechuan cuisine.
"If you come today or 20 years ago, it's the same recipe," Su-Mei said.
But today, Su-Mei said many restaurant goers seem to want more surprises on the menu.
"The young people today, they like new things, and we are old fashioned," she said.
Sichuan Gourmet and its owner Zhong Li also have locations in Framingham and Billerica and are planning a $100,000 renovation for the Beacon Street location.
Su-Mei said she will miss the longtime customers at Chef Chang's House, but her family has no plans at the moment to open a new restaurant.