Doc Chey’s owner leaving Emory Village after 25 years

Credit: Contributed by Amy Sinclair

Credit: Contributed by Amy Sinclair

The restaurant operator behind Doc Chey’s is leaving Emory Village after 25 years.

Dragon Bowl will shutter Feb. 3 at 1556 N. Decatur Road. Owner Rich Chey first opened the restaurant as Doc Chey’s in 1997, then closed briefly in 2010 for renovations and reopened about a month later as Doc Chey’s Dragon Bowl.

The menu features a variety of Asian-inspired made-to-order bowls as well as appetizers like scallion pancakes and Shanghai dumplings.

Chey addressed the closure in an email to customers, saying he made the decision not to renew the restaurant’s lease after it expired.

As most of you know, the last 3 years have been brutal for the restaurant industry,” he wrote. “Being in Emory Village made it even worse because students, staff and faculty (a significant portion of our customers) vacated Emory University for over a year, which made survival a real struggle. As COVID began to wane, we were faced with labor shortages and rapidly increasing product costs. In June 2022, we were devastated by the loss of my business partner, Melanie Vaughn, who was integral to the operation of all our restaurants. All of this along with the seasonality of the location, with a dramatic drop in business during holidays and summers, made operating a profitable business difficult and, at times, impossible.

I would like to personally thank every employee who worked at Doc Chey’s Emory and Dragon Bowl and each and every guest who dined with us over the past 25 years. I was and continue to be truly appreciative of every guest who walks through our doors because I know you have lots of choices in where to spend your dining dollars and you placed your trust in us. I hope this gratitude was evident whenever we met at the restaurant.

In addition to Dragon Bowl, Chey also owns Doc Chey’s Noodle House locations in Grant Park and Morningside, as well as Osteria 832 in Virginia-Highland under the umbrella of his HomeGrown Concepts restaurant group.

Chey did not immediately respond to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s request for more information.

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