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Coronavirus fears force Melbourne’s Shark Fin House restaurant to close

Melbourne Chinatown institution Shark Fin House has been forced to close its doors after a dramatic slump in diners following the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to The Age, co-owner Gabriel Chan said he had been forced to shut its doors after an 80 per cent drop in customer numbers who have been scared off by the coronavirus that has spread from China.

Chan has had to lay off more than 40 staff and 10 casuals and is pessimistic about the chances of reopening the restaurant he co-founded in 1989.

Its sister restaurant, the Shark Fin Inn, is also threatened with closure after 38 years in business if trade doesn’t pick in within two months, said Chan

‘‘We calculated that we cannot survive if we open both [restaurants],’’ he told The Age.

‘‘So we decided to close one down and make the other one survive.’’

Trade at the Inn was down 65 to 70 per cent with Chan saying they will “do everything to try to save the restaurant’’.

"We’re very sad, very unhappy, but we still have to work, so I would tell the people don’t scare, come to the restaurant, support us,” he told The Age.

‘‘Hopefully, in two months, we get better result.’’




Sheridan Randall, 13th February 2020