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History

Culture and heritage combine to create a unique taste that has been turning diners into regulars for over 20 years. Chen’s distinctive flavors and sauces are created fresh daily. Whether it’s the Beef and Broccoli or the Chen’s Chicken, you won’t find food with these delicious, unique flavors anywhere else.

Since 1983, Chen’s Restaurant has had the pleasure of serving Cleveland County and the surrounding region. This accomplishment is due not only to our three generations of experience in the restaurant industry, but to our sincere belief in quality, innovation and excellent service. These beliefs provide us with inspiration and motivation, and are the driving force behind our ever evolving menu which, clearly distinguishes us from other restaurants.

Because of Patsy and Michael’s unusual cultural background, Chen’s tastes are unique from those of most Chinese restaurants. Though both of their parents are of Hakka Chinese origin. Michael was born in Darjeeling, India, home to large Nepali and Tibetan populations. There his father owned the Orient Restaurant, which is now under new ownership. Michael later moved to Calcutta and eventually traveled through Europe before settling down in the US.

From a history of family business, Patsy is the third generation to be in the family restaurant business. Before World War II, her grandfather owned the Chung-Wah Restaurant in Calcutta, which is still operating under a different owner today. Patsy’s family later moved to Karachi, Pakistan, where she grew up. In Pakistan, her parents owned Cafe Mary and Wu Ping, which served Pakistani-Chinese cuisine. Her family later moved to Gastonia, NC running the Hong Kong Lob-Steer Inn until 1996.

While living and growing up in different countries, both Michael and Patsy were exposed to the local cultures and tastes. Infusing these two elements with the Chinese flavor, they have redefined taste.

Chen's Accomplishments Accomplishments
  Chens 1983 David Chen and three friends start Chen’s
1984 Michael and Patsy purchase Chen’s
1986 Chen’s starts using more fresh vegetables and fewer preserved ones
1996 Chen’s receives the Human Relation Award from the City of Shelby
1997 Chen’s starts using solar energy to heat water, saving costs and energy
1999 Chen’s receives the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce.
2000 Chen’s voluntarily becomes a non-smoking restaurant, the first in the area to do so
2002 Senator Walter Dalton, currently Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, presents the flag flown in the state capitol for Chens’ contributions to Shelby Middle School
2004 Chen’s is announced as Cleveland County’s Best of the Best
2006 MSG is no longer added to food
2007 The sushi bar begins
2008 Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Signature Dish
2009 Hibachi is added to the menu
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