Usually, there's something about fortune cookies that make them entertaining and fun,  except this one gives notice to, "Always prepare for the unexpected."

In this case, it's more like "prepare for the way the cookie crumbles."

The iconic New Bedford restaurant Chuck's China Inn has put up the shutter, closing its extravagantly-decorated dining rooms and bar after decades of serving generations of patrons. It's sad to think that there will be no more awestruck children enthralled by the huffing and puffing, smoke-exhaling golden dragon.

At one time, there was a smattering of mythical Chinese restaurants around here that were considered to be part of a culinary dynasty, and Chuck's China Inn was definitely one of them.

Back in the early 1970s, my wife Celeste was dubbed "Legs Diamond" and served many a meal and exotic Scorpion Bowl drinks at Chuck's. In fact, we rented one of their homes for a while. The Woos were good friends of ours, with Chuck and Mona and their kids often coming to the Shawmut Diner for breakfast.

So when I heard of this landmark establishment closing its doors for good, it chipped away at both my heart and my memories. Speaking of which, will you share some of your fond recollections of Chuck's China Inn with us?

Before I end, let me open up just one more cookie here: "You are about to finish reading a fortune cookie from Chuck's."

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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