EUGENE, Ore. — A Chinese restaurant on Franklin Boulevard in Eugene is closing its doors after 41 years of business.
There’s been a lot of transformation over the years on the Franklin Corridor. Van Louie, owner of Louie’s Village says he’s seen a lot of changes from the time he opened his restaurant in 1973. He says even when their business is closed, he’s confident the Franklin business community will continue to thrive.
The restaurant was the American dream for Louie and his family.
“We started this restaurant on March the 4th, 1973. And a combination of my parents and my four other siblings. And try and make something to explore the American Dream just try and stick our grounds into the community,” Louie said.
Louie, who immigrated from Hong Kong with his family, says it’s been a great ride.
“And we’ve been fortunate. We’ve had some really really good customers,” Louie said.
“When we’re looking for the Chinese food that we remember growing up, this is where we come for Chinese food,” said customer Lori Davis.
But after 41 years of serving customers, Louie says it’s time to throw in the towel.
“But unfortunately it’s time. I get lazy. Hairs are grey and it’s time to enjoy life a little bit, instead of working all the time,” Louie said.
“Franklin Boulevard is an essential corridor in the community. It’s one of the entry points to the community,” said Mike Sullivan, City of Eugene Community Development Manager.
But for every door that closes another one opens. Sullivan says there’s a lot of growth in the Franklin Boulevard area.
“When you count the housing projects that are already out of the ground about 400, 400-plus new units of student housing very close to the corridor,” Sullivan said.
A Northwest Community Credit Union building is also under construction just a few blocks down from Louie’s Village. And while Louie’s Village will be vacant soon, Louie says he’s not sure what will take its place, but he hopes it’s just as important to the community as Louie’s.
“Hopefully, eventually we will get some new tenants in here or some new owners anyway I’m exploring all the possibilities, perhaps maybe the University of Oregon will want it, maybe Uncle Phil,” Louie said.
Louie says he’s still figuring out what he’s going to do with the place when Louie’s Village closes.
The restaurant is set to close on Dec. 31, 2013.