Footscray dining institution Jim Wong Restaurant will be closing its doors for the final time this Sunday, bringing to a close a chapter of inner-west history lasting almost 60 years.

Maryanne Wong has been running the restaurant bearing her beloved husband’s name since he died in 2016 from head injuries sustained in a fall at the iconic Barkly Street restaurant.

Mrs Wong vowed to keep the restaurant running for two or three years as a legacy to the cherished Footscray restaurateur, renowned across Melbourne for his kindness and his popular dim sims.

Mr Wong hailed from Canton, China, arriving in Melbourne at the age of 13 and learning his craft from an uncle.

 

MR WONG OUTSIDE HIS RESTAURANT IN HIS EARLY DAYS. (SUPPLIED)

His restaurant was a well-known haunt of sports stars, particularly his beloved Western Bulldogs.

Mrs Wong, a familiar face at the restaurant during the 53 years of the couple’s marriage, has decided it is time for the next chapter in her life.

“I’m looking forward to retiring, but at the same time I’m really sad knowing I won’t be seeing as much of all these people,” she said of the restaurant’s loyal customers.

“They are still coming after all these years and bringing their children and grandchildren.”

 

MR WONG AND HIS WIFE MARIANNE IN 1967. (SUPPLIED)

Mrs Wong said it had been a privilege watching so many people grow up from their own childhood to now have families of their own come to eat.

She said the food has always been the main attraction, yet she also hoped the restaurant’s longevity reflected the welcome she and Jimmy had extended to all customers.

She also has welcome news for fans of the famous Jimmy Wong dim sims – two of her sons will continue their production in the new year.

Jim Wong Restaurant closes December 22.