Regent Restaurant group photograph
L-R back: Neil Foster, Bryan Pereverseff, Ricky Kwan, Wayne Kwan [Regent Restaurant], Charleen Davidson [Chair, Board of Directors, Galt Museum & Archives], Larry May, Dennis Jobe, Susan Burrows-Johnson [CEO/Executive Director, Galt Museum & Archives]. Seated: Rhonda Kwan, Ben Kwan, Tiffany Kwan
The Galt Museum & Archives is pleased to announce it is the recipient of $23,300 — proceeds from the final fundraising dinner organized by the Regent Restaurant which recently closed its doors after 28 years of business in Lethbridge.
Voted as Best of the Best in the Chinese food category for numerous years, Regent Restaurant was a fixture on the busy 3rd Avenue strip from 1986 until April 7, 2014. Owner Wayne Kwan and his many long time staff thank the community of Lethbridge for their patronage throughout the years.
“Through your support the Regent has been a strong community supporter,” says Kwan, who has been with the Regent from day one. In keeping with that spirit of giving, he chose to close this chapter in his life with one final fundraising dinner and auction of memorabilia.
Kwan has also offered a variety of items from the restaurant to the Galt’s archives and collections, including a table, chair and dishes representative of the Regent, a model-sized dragon boat with the Regent’s team photos, and a number of photographs representing the history of the restaurant.
“Wayne is an extraordinary individual and a committed community builder,” says Susan Burrows-Johnson, CEO/Executive Director at the Galt. “I am in awe of a person who throws their own retirement party, charges their friends to attend and then donates the money to a community service. The Galt is very thankful for Wayne’s thoughtful gifts to this community and the Galt.”
Regent Restaurant was a major sponsor of the Galt Museum’s Growing Our Legacy expansion campaign, providing funds towards The Chinese Experience exhibit in the Discovery Hall in Memory of Wally Kwok-Woo Lam, founder, with Patrick Lam, Mrs. Ping Sau Cho and Wayne Kwan, and has supported the Galt annually since the museum expansion in 2006.
About the Regent Restaurant
The Regent Restaurant first opened its doors in 1986 with four partners at the helm: Wally Lam, Wayne Kwan, Patrick Lam and Cho Siu Ping. In 1988, Mrs. Cho sold her stake to Raymond Yau. This newly formed partnership carried some significance because of family ties. Raymond and Wayne married Teresa and Rhonda (respectively), sisters of Wally and Patrick.
The Regent took over the main floor of the Elks’ Lodge. The remodel of the interior took a great deal of effort and it paid off. One of the most noticeable features they incorporated was a bridge over a fishpond that housed a school of koi and even included turtles at one point.
The four partners had a vision of bringing authentic Chinese cuisine to Lethbridge that appealed to a wide variety of palates, including Szechuan and Cantonese dishes and custom dishes never before seen. In the early 1990s they decided to take their vision one step further by bringing four executive chefs to Canada, two specialized in Dim Sum. Until it closed, the Regent was still the only restaurant in Lethbridge offering a Dim Sum menu.
As the years went on the partnerships transitioned as Patrick, Raymond and Wally moved onto different ventures and Wayne became the sole proprietor. Along with the many long time staff, the Regent continued to provide an elite quality of Chinese cuisine that earned them the distinction of ‘Best of the Best’ in Chinese Food in Lethbridge for a number of years.
Of Wayne’s long tenured team, four have been of particular importance. Ming Lam (Wally’s son), Koon Lam (Wally’s wife), Sandy Li and the late Terri Dong started at the Regent Restaurant on opening day and have been steadfast in their commitment to the highest standards of service.
Reports courtesy Galt Museum & Archives.