An iconic Treasure Valley restaurant is shutting its doors.
The owners of Orphan Annie’s Bar & Grill announced last week that they would be retiring and that last Saturday would be the restaurant’s last day.
The owners, Kim and Fun Yee, declined an interview with the Idaho Press. Since posting the news of the restaurant’s closing on their Facebook page, however, they have been met with an outpouring of support from the Caldwell community.
“If ever two people deserved a peace filled retirement, it is Kim and Fun Yee,” Caldwell resident Tammy Dittenber commented.
“Lots of good memories there. Thank you for the mandarin chicken and memories, Orphan Annie’s,” Haley Glenn, another Caldwell resident, wrote.
Several more commenters mentioned their favorite dishes from the restaurant, with the apparent consensus being that the prime rib is the highlight of the menu. The restaurant offers a mix of traditional Chinese dishes, such as pot stickers, mafa chicken and chow mein, paired with more American classics like chicken fried steak and curly fries.
“We have celebrated births, birthdays, holidays, mourned the loss of loved ones and had many fun nights at Orphan Annies,” Laurie Burns McCluskey wrote on the Orphan Annie’s Facebook page.
“It’s hard to describe what a great place this is,” Caldwell resident and patron George Scott told the Idaho Press. “It’s a good American story.”
Orphan Annie’s is named for Fun’s wife Ann “Kim” Yee, a Korean orphan adopted in 1956, at age 6, by American parents who raised her in Harper, Oregon, according to an Idaho Press feature on the restaurant in the 2017 edition of Cavalcade.
Fun Yee moved from China to the U.S. in March 1963 at age 15. He has worked in restaurants since — first in San Francisco, then Salt Lake City, then in Oregon towns Burns and Ontario. He worked at the former East Side Café in Ontario from 1969 to 1982, starting as a cook and ending up as master (head) cook.
“We are so grateful to have such loyal customers,” Kim Yee said in 2017. “Our restaurant is like a family, a big, happy family.”
Fun Yee told the Idaho Press in 2011 that every six months or so he and his wife would close the restaurant for over a week to do something peaceful and quiet with their children and grandchildren.
“Sometimes money isn’t everything,” he said. “Family is important. Rest is important. I tell people, ‘You don’t want a cranky owner.’ … And people are understanding.”