SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- After 94 years in business, San Jose's oldest full-service restaurant has quietly closed its doors, possibly for good, due to rising rent.
Wing's Chinese Restaurant, built in 1925, has been a customer favorite for decades. Its neon sign, installed in the '40s or '50s, marks the gateway to yesteryear.
The restaurant owner reportedly owns the sign and would like to take it with her. However, any exterior modifications to buildings in San Jose must be approved by the planning division. City officials are now reviewing the case.
" It's a character defining feature of the building, the district, the neighborhood, so if it's removed, you're having an impact," said Juliet Arroyo, San Jose's historical preservation officer. "That impact might be lessened if it were moved down the street."
The owner of the building says the structure needs more than a half-million dollars in repairs.
The restaurant owner hopes to one day relocate her business and reinstall the sign. "People have a strong connection to the sign, partly because it's been there for decades, but also the connection to Japantown and the history that has taken place there," Brian Grayson, executive director of the Preservation Action Council of San Jose.
Planning officials are expected to make a decision sometime this month.