Tse Ming Wang, the “elder” of his eponymous, beloved Lao Wang Noodle House in Denver, died on Wednesday at the age of 76.
Wang’s family announced the news over social media to patrons and fans of their small South Federal Boulevard restaurant. They said he “peacefully passed away” in the morning.
“Most of you knew him from the restaurant, and know that his passion for making great food matched his fire for life,” Wang’s son Danny wrote on the business’ Facebook page. “While he may be gone, we have plans to carry forward his legacy and continue on. We’ll be helping mom out in the kitchen in the short term while we figure out how to best honor what dad had created for so many of you to enjoy.”
Wang’s lasting 22-year business has become a staple among Denver restaurants, inviting patrons into an unassuming shopping center dining room for steamed xiao long bao (also known as soup dumplings), dan dan noodles, potstickers and more Chinese comfort foods.
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Prior to opening the restaurant, he had lived around the world in China and Taiwan, but also Denmark, the Netherlands and Bolivia. The elder Wang bred show dogs and built furniture in addition to cooking and running a business.
Lao Wang Noodle House will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday as its family owners make arrangements, they told guests. The family has set up a fundraiser online where supporters can donate money for “medical and mortuary costs.”
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