Michelle Martinez, 979-575-9042
Restaurant photos courtesy of the Golden Star Cafe.
Today, the Golden Star Cafe was honored by Councilwoman Teri Castillo, Mayor Nirenberg, and City Council with a City of San Antonio Proclamation celebrating the 90th anniversary of the small business. The Golden Star Cafe was founded in 1932 by Koon Yen Lim (Papa Lim), who immigrated to the US at 13 years old from Canton, China seeking better opportunities for his family and to live the American Dream. During the ceremony, a Proclamation was read, and remarks were given to commemorate the 90th-anniversary milestone.
Over the weekend, the Lim Family hosted a special event for family members, long-standing employees and customers, and community leaders, including Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Councilwoman Teri Castillo, Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia, Senator José Menéndez, former Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, and Secretary Henry Cisneros, who attended the original ribbon cutting of its current location. The Golden Star Cafe is family-owned and operated and, to many, known as the “gateway to the westside” from downtown as it’s located on W. Commerce and Frio.
“Our family wanted to honor Papa Lim’s legacy and celebrate our 90th anniversary serving our beloved San Antonio community, a milestone we know that not many small businesses achieve, especially with today’s business challenges,” said Bo Jean Lim, family co-owner, “We’ve served generations of families as customers; generations of employees have worked with us for 20, 30, and even 50 years. We thank everyone who has been part of our 90-year journey and continues helping us carry on Papa Lim’s memories.”
Generations of residents have dined at Golden Star Cafe, sharing memories of Papa Lim’s scratch pies, staff famously stacking entire orders on their arms, and our kitchen cooking 24/7 American, Chinese, and Mexican food representing the diverse community they serve. The Golden Star Cafe is famous to many San Antonians for its signature hand-breaded fried fish with gravy.
The restaurant was greatly impacted by COVID-19 and still encountering small business challenges such as product shortages, rising inflation, and labor shortages. Due to construction, the main entrance to the restaurant has been closed most of the year, making it challenging for customers to enter and park. With all the lingering challenges, the Lim family is unsure how long the restaurant will survive but remains hopeful that with the help of the City and community, they can continue to serve their San Antonio for years to come.