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What Happened to Ho Ho Choy?

This author has a history with the Ehrlich Rd. Chinese eatery, now gone . . .

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!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Melissa Russell November 19, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Ho Ho Choy's was a favorite past time for me as well. Great food! Also, it was there that I discovered my Chinese zodiac character - the dragon. I will be sad to see it close.
Christopher Nank November 27, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Glad to see at least one fellow "mourner"! Thanks, Melissa.
Lisa L. Demmi November 28, 2011 at 06:59 PM
What?! I used to eat there all the time when I lived off of Ehrlich. Sad to see it's gone…
Joanne January 26, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I was just reading about the New Beijing place in Tampa off of N. Dale Mabry and Van Dyke. People that left comments say that it is now owned by the owners of the Ho Ho Choy from Ehrlich Road. I hope this is so, I loved Ho Ho Choy. I had been going there for years. Joanne
Lauren Capo February 06, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Ho Ho Choy survives! it is on Fletcher avenue in the shopping Plaza where Kaleisia Tea is. :) Still as good as ever people. Here is their phone number: 813-962-2159
Tica February 07, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I was just told recently...I was just there over the Holidays...maybe Nov or December...and had no idea they were thinking to close! I am devastated too! I thought they were the BEST Chinese restaurant in this area! Unfortunately, the other on on fletcher are not the same owners as on Erlich and Hutchison! I have known Julio for years when he was at the Mission Bells Strip Mall! I called the location one reader Lauren mentioned...BUT they said they are not the same owner. Different location and owners! I am so sad! Tica :(
Christopher Nank February 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Does anyone know WHY they closed? Seems like it came out of the blue to most of their patrons. And I didn't know they now own New Beijing . . .
Wanda M. Fertig April 04, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Don't know, Christopher, but we felt the same as you! It was by far the best Chinese around...until we tried New Beijing! The owner there IS in fact from Ho Ho's! Can't believe I'm saying this, but WOW - it is even so much better than Ho Ho's! Dine in for the full experience. Service (owner's wife) is AWESOME and the place is CLEAN and peaceful. You WILL NOT be disappointed! My New Beijing delivery will be here soon, actually. Kung Pao Chicken...spicy...Yummm!!! Oh, and when you speak to the very friendly owner, he could (I'm sure) fill you in on what happened to Ho Ho's. Try New Beijing though (813.962.5900), and you won't miss Ho Ho's anymore! :)
Virginia Trujillo October 11, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Thank you for all the info, can't wait to try Beijing. Missed HOHO so much!

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