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Joy Garden to close; why owners are calling it quits

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RICHMOND, Va. — Here’s a venture that didn’t get mentioned in last week’s discussion of Richmond’s oldest businesses: Joy Garden, est. 1957 at 2918 W. Broad St. Now, amidst Scott’s Addition’s boom in breweries and apartments, the Chinese eatery’s owners are retiring and closing the restaurant.

Joy Garden will serve its last meal July 31 or at the end of this year, depending on whether owners Mark and Bang Sin can hire more help at the restaurant.

Mark and Bang Sin. (PHOTO:  Michael Thompson)

Mark and Bang Sin. (PHOTO: Michael Thompson)

“If I can find someone to work, I will keep it open (until the end of this year),” Mark Sin, 69, said.

Sin said he is closing because he can’t afford to pay rent that appears to be rising with the popularity of Scott’s Addition. Business has declined in the past year as he has prepared to retire. Sin said having a service bar only, as opposed to an open bar, has hindered business.

The owners of Joy Garden are struggling to keep up with rising rent in Scott’s Addition. (PHOTO: Michael Thompson)

The owners of Joy Garden are struggling to keep up with rising rent in Scott’s Addition. (PHOTO: Michael Thompson)

“The area is hot,” Sin said, adding he at one point had the option to buy Joy Garden’s building from his previous landlord. “It’s a little harder to compete. All my regular customers are getting older. Younger customers don’t like this kind of food.”

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