The Elite Café

The Elite Cafe in downtown Newman was a chinese restaurant dating back to the 1940s.  Today it still operates under the relatives of the original owner and is known as Good Times.

On Saturday, May 9th, 1942, the popular Chas. Poy Restaurant closed it's doors forever after having served Newman residents for 38 years.  The business had been purchased by a man named Lew Suey who built a new home for the restaurant at 1413 "O" Street (now "Main Street") renaming it the "Elite Café".  The "Elite Café" held it's grand opening on May 16, 1942, serving American & Chinese dishes.  In addition to it's good food & service, a novel fish pond was installed in the dining room to attract customers.  Lew Suey operated the business, with the help of his brother Wayne, into the 1970's.  In 1974, he sold it to Wallace and Wei Sum Chen.  Mr. Chen immigrated from Hong Kong where he had been an accountant.  He had owned and operated a restaurant in San Francisco.  He came to Newman to answer Lew's ad in the newspaper.  They changed the name of the business to The China Café.  In the late 1990's, relatives took over the operation and renamed the restaurant to "Good Times".  Good Times remains in business to this day, still serving Chinese and American food.

Trivia:  The restaurant was a filming location for the 1989 motion picture "Valentino Returns" featuring Frederic Forrest (Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now") & Veronica Cartwright (Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" & Ridley Scott's "Alien").