Home of 'World's Rudest Waiter' fights to survive in San Francisco

A still image taken from Associated Press video shows a sign at the Sam Wo restaurant bluntly telling customers they may eat in only.

Described by one patron as the “Don Rickles of restaurants,” the late Edsel Ford Fung slammed down dishes on tables and berated diners.

Immortalized by San Francisco writers Armistead Maupin and Herb Cain, a newspaper columnist, Fung was dubbed the “World’s Rudest Waiter” and brought fame to the century-old Chinese restaurant Sam Wo.

The restaurant closed Friday, with owners expecting to serve the last meals early today after violating city health and fire codes. But The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that the eatery’s owners plan to plead with city officials for a second chance.

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"This restaurant is my life," Julie Ho, daughter of owner David Ho, was quoted as saying. "We're definitely closing for the weekend, but beyond that nothing is definite."

The Associated Press produced this video of diners and human traffic in the restaurant:

According to the AP, San Francisco health officials found signs of rodent activity and demanded changes but the restaurant said it was simply too old to meet modern requirements.

The Chronicle said that at Tuesday’s meeting, the owners must present the city with a plan to bring the restaurant up to code.

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"I know change is good, but sometimes you want to hold onto the happy memories," Darlene Lee, 71, a customer, was quoted as saying by tte AP. Lee said she had been eating at Sam Wo for 60 years.

According to the AP, a sign at the restaurant once listed the “rude” Fung’s house rules: "No Booze ... No Jive, No Coffee, Milk, Soft Drinks, Fortune Cookies."