Hong Kong Moves To Extend Hours

License Commission agenda tells different story from email rumors

Kevin H. Lin

Paul Lee, manager of the Hong Kong Restaurant, is petitioning the Cambridge License Commission to extend his restaurant’s closing time to 3 a.m. seven days a week. He will appear in front of the board on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong Restaurant—one of the Square’s most popular late night stops—is petitioning to extend its closing time to 3 a.m.

Paul Lee, the restaurant’s manager, has also applied to amend the Harvard Square restaurant’s Sunday opening hour from 12 p.m. to 11 a.m., according to the City of Cambridge License Commission agenda.

Undergraduates on several mailing lists this week had expressed concerns that the City of Cambridge had told the Kong to close at an earlier hour after a vaguely written agenda item on the city website said that the Kong’s closing time was under review. In fact, Cambridge is considering extending its closing time.

“[T]he city of Cambridge wants to close “the Kong” early, meaning no more late-night food. You are all entitled to your own opinions on the matter, but there is a petition at the restaurant that you can sign if you do not want this to happen!” alleged one Pforzheimer undergraduate student to the House’s email list.

“[T]his is the worst news i’ve [sic] heard all day, and I just read an article about climate change, orphans, and sad kittens,” one student wrote to the Quincy-Open list upon hearing that the Kong had been told to close earlier.

Students on the Quincy email list also speculated that late night drunken crowds may have also contributed to the rumor that the City was pressuring the Kong to close at an earlier time.

Lee, who has declined to comment on the situation, has placed a petition for customers to sign at the greeting counter to his restaurant. A note on the clipboard states that the petition is to extend dining room food to 3 a.m. seven days a week.

He will be accepting signatures through Monday.

Currently, the restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. every day until 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays it is open until 2:30 a.m., according to the restaurant’s website.

Lee’s father, Sen Lee, opened the restaurant in 1954 and was honored by Cambridge City Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves ’72 in 1997 as exemplifying the ideals of the American Dream.

Lee is expected to appear in front of the License Commission board on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at