Chandler resident Susie Wong can truly say that her life was changed by her favorite restaurant.
“I’ve been a customer for years; the food tastes like home,” she says about the award-winning Singing Pandas Asian Restaurant & Bar. “Over time, I became close with the owners and staff.”
Wong has been dining at Singing Pandas Asian Restaurant & Bar for years. She used to work nearby at an automotive repair shop and would visit, getting to know former owner Sherry Chen, who performed at the eatery’s unique weekend Legends Showcase with Elvis (Mike Russell).
“Sherry became a mentor to me, and when my former company sold, she encouraged me to stop working for other people,” Wong shares.
In a twist of fate, while she was in the middle of purchasing an automotive repair business, Chen offered for Wong to purchase Singing Pandas instead.
“I grew up in a grocery store that had a little eatery inside and worked in the restaurant industry for years at the beginning of my career,” Wong shares. “When she offered to sell me Singing Pandas, I thought, ‘Pinch me, this can’t be real.’”
Wong assured loyal customers and staff that the only changes made to Singing Pandas would be to help the business grow—like an updated website and adding third-party delivery options. The authentic food, quality service and staff, and one-of-a-kind entertainment stays—in fact, kitchen manager Wobin “Benny” Chen, the brother of the former owner, is still there.
“The previous owners built this restaurant from the ground up,” Wong says. “They have changed my life, and the delicious food and entertainment will continue.
“Old friends who found out through social media that I now own the restaurant come in, and my family has been amazing as well—finding me panda decorations and visiting all of the time,” she adds.
A true family affair, her daughter is now a waitress at Singing Pandas and her husband, with a stage name of Valomark Love, performs as Louie Armstrong nightly.
“Sherry and this restaurant have truly changed my life,” Wong says. “She [Sherry] recently wrote me an e-mail saying, ‘You know that I’ve truly wanted you to be successful since I've met you, even more now than anyone else.’ I keep that close to my heart and hope that my gratitude shows as we continue the success they built.”