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Bridgeport, Chinatown, McKinley Park

Crowds Swarm Chinatown’s Seven Treasures As Late-Night Gem To Close After 40 Years

Customers have tried for days to snag a final order at the popular Wentworth Avenue spot after the owner announced he is retiring and closing the restaurant Monday.

A long line stretched outside Seven Treasures, 2312 S. Wentworth Ave., as people visited to grab a last bite before the restaurant closes Aug. 15.
Kayleigh Padar/Block Club Chicago
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CHINATOWN — Customers have been lining up all week to grab a final meal at a family-owned, late-night staple in Chinatown before it closes for good next week.

Seven Treasures, 2312 S. Wentworth Ave., has been in the neighborhood since 1985 and is set to close Monday. Owner Benjamin Au is retiring, and the younger generation doesn’t want to take over the business, Sun-Times reported

Benjamin Au declined an interview because the restaurant was so busy Thursday afternoon.

It took Adrian Torres five days to brave the line and grab one last takeout order from Seven Treasures. He and his family have visited the restaurant “about once a week” since the ’90s, he said. 

“I’ve stopped by the past five days, and this is my first time getting in because it’s been so packed,” said Torres, who lives in Pilsen. “I even came at midnight, and there was still a ridiculous amount of people.” 

Credit: Kayleigh Padar/Block Club Chicago
Seven Treasures, 2312 S. Wentworth Ave., opened in 1985 and is set to close next week.

Torres said he watched his 12-year-old daughter grow up while sitting across the table from her at Seven Treasures. His family loves the restaurant so much because of its authenticity, he said. 

Torres’s go-to dishes are wonton noodle soup and roast pork. His family always makes sure to get an order of scrambled eggs with shrimp over rice. 

“The food you can get here is the traditional Cantonese style, and it tastes like food you can get in China,” Torres said. “You can really taste the flavors because there’s a minimum amount of ingredients.” 

One of Torres’ family traditions is to share a meal at the restaurant in honor of loved ones who’ve died. The family also visits frequently to celebrate birthdays and other milestones, he said. 

“There’s been a lot of funerals where the person used to love eating here, so we’ll come after the funeral to eat in honor of them,” Torres said. “We have at least 10, maybe 15 family members who really enjoy coming here. We would come on their birthdays or whenever they wanted to and it was always a special event.” 

For Dhel Jiao, Seven Treasures is his favorite late-night spot to stop by after work. He typically orders the 554, a signature dish of two fried eggs, barbecue pork, rice and soy sauce.  

“When I get off work it’s always super late and nothing is open, but this is one place that’s always open,” said Jiao, who lives in The Loop. “I would always drive out here around 2 in the morning and be the last one in here eating. It’s sad I’ll have to find a new place to go after work.” 

Celeste Lang traveled from the southwest suburban Crestwood to grab one last taste of her “all-time favorite restaurant in Chinatown,” she said.

Lang and her family have been visiting for more than 20 years and stop by every year during the Chinese New Year’s Parade, she said. They love ordering shrimp with lobster sauce and crab rangoons, Lang said. 

“The food is always good and reasonably priced, and they always get the order right,” Lang said. “We’ve been coming for a long time, it’s just a special place. I’m sad to see it go.” 

Torres said he hopes the owner considers publishing his recipes in a cookbook so that people can continue to enjoy them for years to come. 

“A lot of people are going to miss it,” Torres said. “I think it’s a real loss, not for just Chinatown but for Chicago. You can tell because all these people are here to eat, and it’s been like this for the last five days. It’s nonstop.” 

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