I drive down Ehrlich Road frequently, and the various landmarks along the roadsides have become so ingrained in my consciousness that I often don't notice them specifically.
At the intersection with Hutchinson Road, just past Ben Hill Middle School, this is especially true. Papito's, Dunkin Donuts, Sweetbay, Publix, even the smoker from Alex's BBQ have all become like a familiar mural on the side of a building I might pass by daily.
So, it was jarring to see the signs announcing the availability of the building Ho Ho Choy once occupied. Before I go on, we all know that restaurants come and go, and especially in this economic climate, I don't want to give the impression I think this is a freakish, unprecedented (or even unusual) occurrence.
But, I do want to engage in a little bit of bittersweet nostalgia, if you'll humor me,
and also to invite some feedback; if anyone out there can answer the title
question, it'd at least give me some "closure!"
I ate my first Chinese meal in Tampa at Ho Ho Choy just after Thanksgiving of 1998. I've eaten birthday lunches there. It was one of the first places I took my wife when we moved back to Florida. I still got carry-out there from time to time, even though it wasn't geographically convenient or the closest option.
Because of these scattered memories of the last 13 years, I felt a little sad when I saw that it basically no longer existed. Maybe more than a little.
So here's hoping that whatever business replaces Ho Ho Choy in that now-vacant edifice, with its crazy maze of low concrete parking barriers out front, will at least
partially live up to the standards its predecessor set (for me).
Again, if anyone out there knows what circumstances led to Ho Ho Choy's closing, please let me know!