Chuck's China Inn was a legendary Chinese restaurant in the North End of New Bedford for decades. As a kid, Chuck's was a place for special occasions as my working-class parents seldom dined out.

My wife and I took our kids to Chuck's.

There have been a few restaurants in New Bedford in my lifetime that I would consider legendary based on their popularity with diners and their longevity. Some, such as Pa Raffa's and Cafe Roma, are still operational. Others, including Me & Ed's, Davy's Locker and Chuck's China Inn, are not.

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In 1952, Chuck Woo emigrated to New Bedford from Canton, China. For several years, Woo worked at Cathay Temple in Mattapoisett. In 1957, Woo and his wife Mona opened Chuck's China Inn at 1856 Acushnet Ave.

My first memories of Chuck's were from the 1960s before an expansion added the back room with the dragon that hung from the ceiling. The restaurant consisted of two small, narrow rooms with rows of tables. The expansion began when the Woos purchased the building in 1969.

New Bedford's Chuck's China Inn Was A North End Landmark
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According to the publication The Avenue: Memories of Acushnet Avenue (1992) by Carmen Maiocci, "Chuck Woo went to extraordinary lengths to decorate the restaurant that bears his name."

Maiocco says, "Begining in the early 1970s, he made half a dozen trips back to his homeland to find the distinctive murals and carvings that grace each room's interior."

According to Maiocco, Woo "purchased the 2,000-pound, hand-carved, golden mahogany dragon" that hung from the dining room ceiling while in Hong Kong.

Chuck Woo died in 1992. Chuck's closed for several years after, and then his widow reopened the restaurant. Chuck's China Inn closed for good in 2020.

Krave Restaurant opened at the former Chuck's China Inn location in 2021 but closed at the end of 2023.

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