Pearl of the Orient, which has been serving West Side diners Szechuan, sushi and Thai cuisine for 35 years, will close Aug. 31.

The restaurant, which opened May 22, 1984, is closing because the current lease is set to end, and owner George Hwang didn’t want to commit to a new five-year lease, he said in an interview.

Hwang began questioning whether he should keep the Pearl’s doors open over a year ago and three months ago decided to close. His decision came with the help of his three sisters, who are all shareholders of the restaurant.

Instead of food, Hwang has begun looking at pursuing other investment opportunities, such as the housing and apartment market.

Regardless of what he decides to do, Hwang said he will always cherish the memories he made with his customers and staff over the years.

“The decision has been difficult to make and we wanted you to hear this personally from us: Thank you so much for your dedication to Pearl and for allowing us to serve you and make your memories come alive,” Hwang said in a news release sent out July 25.

The announcement comes after Michael’s, another longtime Rocky River restaurant, closed after 42 years on June 2.

Contact this reporter at akamczyc@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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