About Lotus Garden
Lotus Garden, a family-owned and operated restaurant, opened on February 1, 1968. It is the oldest family-run Chinese restaurant in Tucson.
Darryl Wong is the current chef-owner of Lotus Garden. His uncle, an American-born Chinese GI, met his wife, a nurse, in World War II. When the war was over, they married and settled back in Tucson. They brought back Darryl's father; he was in the grocery business, so he knew food. Ten years later, when the Wong family opened the Lotus Garden, it was the easternmost restaurant in Tucson. Speedway Boulevard turned into a dirt road east of Wilmot. How the city has grown since then!
Darryl's mother and father received the second Small Business Administrator loan ever granted in Tucson, and were the first to pay it back. The restaurant was a success!
Darryl's uncle came from Hong Kong and was Lotus Garden's chef for 19 years. The menu was traditional Cantonese. In the mid 1970s, Taiwan became a big influence on Lotus Garden. Its customers traveled to Taiwan on business and returned home seeking hot and spicy cuisine. Because of this, Lotus Garden added Szechuan dishes to its menu. Chef Huang has become part of the Lotus Garden family, carrying on the culinary traditions and perfecting the dishes on its menu since 1995.
Lotus Garden is truly a family business. Darryl's mother, now in her 80s, continues to help out at the restaurant every day.
Read this article about the restaurant's story!