Foo’s Ho Ho has a devoted following from many longtime Vancouver residents. Jamie Lee Hamilton grew up in Strathcona and has frequented Foo’s since she was a teenager in the 1970s. Civic historian John Atkin remembers the Foo’s sign as a bright beacon for the delicious food inside.

Museum of Vancouver

© 2012, Museum of Vancouver. All Rights Reserved.


Transcript

NARRATOR
Foo’s Ho Ho has a devoted following from many longtime Vancouver residents.
Jamie Lee Hamilton grew up in Strathcona and has frequented Foo’s since she
was a teenager in the 1970s.

JAMIE LEE HAMILTON
Yeah, well, the Ho Ho Chop Suey, as it was known back then, I would often go
there. It had a really interesting vibe to it. It was very eclectic, you know, people
from all walks of life.

The décor was very Forbidden City-like. You know, lots of reds and golds. And it
was just fabulous.

And you know when you walked through Chinatown, it was exciting. It was like
Vancouver’s Hollywood. The lighting, the people, the excitement, the cabarets,
the nightlife.

NARRATOR
What’s left of Foo’s neon signage is just a trace of what used to grace Pender
Street in Chinatown’s neon heyday. A spectacular sign wound its way up the wall
of the New Sun Ah Hotel, which houses Foo’s. That sign was removed for repairs
in 1987 and then became the property of the Museum of Vancouver. Jamie Lee
Hamilton remembers the old neon sign.

JAMIE LEE HAMILTON
The original sign, you know, the rice bowl, and the spoon, and the steam coming
out. It was just really colourful and bright. I’d like to say it was very showmanship-
like. It was befitting, I thought. It was glamourous.

NARRATOR
Civic historian John Atkin remembers the Foo’s sign as a bright beacon for the
delicious food inside.

JOHN ATKIN
There were those kind of figurative signs that just quite literally said “This is what
you’ll get inside.” The Ho-Ho in Chinatown did the same thing. “We’re a chop
suey joint and here’s the big bowl, here’s the chopsticks, and here’s the steam.”
And so this is what you’re going to get in here.


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