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Bittersweet ending for iconic Calgary restaurant known for inventing ginger beef

Click to play video: 'Calgary restaurant pleads with thieves to return sentimental sign'
Calgary restaurant pleads with thieves to return sentimental sign
WATCH ABOVE: Calgary restaurant pleads with thieves to return sentimental sign – Oct 11, 2022

Editor’s note: The Silver Inn Restaurant sign has since been recovered. Read the latest story here.

A heartbreaking end of an era for an iconic Calgary restaurant this past weekend.

Not only did the Silver Inn serve its last meal before closing for good Sunday, but the next day a piece of its long, storied history was also swiped.

Owner Kwong Cheung told Global News the family was shocked when they noticed their large restaurant sign had gone missing sometime during the afternoon of Oct. 10.

“It’s disappointing,” Cheung said. “Not sure why people would want to do than other than for kicks or bragging rights.”

The Silver Inn sign that was stolen Oct.10, 2022 from the restaurant. Courtesy of: The Silver Inn

Cheung said he knows the theft is not nearly as “significant” as other issues plaguing the world right now but added this is significant to his family.

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“Equipment, menus and stuff like that got changed over time, but our sign was the only one that’s been with us since we moved up to this location in July 1978,” he said.

“45 years. 46 years. That’s the only thing that stood throughout the entire history.”

The family canvassed neighbouring businesses looking for any kind of leads, including surveillance video but came up empty.

Global News also went to several businesses facing Silver Inn but were also told no one had seen or heard anything.

Over at Angelo’s & Luigi’s Men’s Hairstyling, barber and owner Tony Kasermali said he was working Thanksgiving Day, but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

“No, no,” he told Global News. “I just saw that it was gone. I thought somebody had bought the restaurant and they were going to change the name or something..”

Fellow barber Angelo Fontana said he didn’t even know about the theft until a client told him the next day.

“This guy just left and he used to be a policeman,” Fontana recalled. “And he said, ‘The sign is gone.’ That’s strange — it was there the other day.”

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The family has also filed a police report.

 

Calgary restaurant owner Kwong Cheung. Tomasia DaSilva

The Silver Inn has often been hailed as the inventor of the very popular dish ginger beef, putting the fan favourite on the menu — and Calgary on the map — decades ago.

“We were only thinking about, ‘Oh jeez if we can survive the first six months we’ll be ok right?’ We never thought about leaving any kind of legacy.

But the family did leave a legacy. An Alberta museum had already reached out expressing interest in the sign.

Cheung isn’t holding out much hope it will be returned. Still he’s pleading for whomever took it to bring it back.

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“Just bring it back. Give us a call wherever and we’ll pick it up and move on,” he said.

“It really represents our entire family,” he said emotionally. “45 years.”

Silver Inn officially closed its doors on Oct. 9 so Cheung and his wife could retire.

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