From Yum Cha to Game Bar: Former King of Kings Site to Get Playful Reboot

In 2020, Fortitude Valley foodies bade farewell to King of Kings, the cherished yum cha eatery that was a Chinatown Mall mainstay for over three decades. After plans to revive the large venue at the corner of Duncan and Wickham Streets fell through, the space continued to sit vacant. Until now. 

Read: Chinatown Mall Revamp to Breathe New Life into Fortitude Valley

However, the iconic site is getting an exciting new lease on life under Melbourne hospitality group Ballers Clubhouse.

Set to launch in late 2024, Ballers Clubhouse Brisbane will transform the former restaurant into a high-tech playground for grownups spanning two floors and 1100 sqm. 

Photo credit: Ballers Clubhouse/Facebook

Gaming activities like augmented ping pong, shuffleboard, and karaoke will pair with finger foods, cocktails and other menu options accessible for diverse gatherings.

Photo credit: Ballers Clubhouse/Facebook 

Ballers Clubhouse is designed as a lively hangout spot for friends’ nights out, dates, celebrations and corporate team building alike. Their 2500 sqm venue in the Melbourne CBD is the city’s largest licensed space, equipped with 75 taps, 10 private functions spaces, 15 pimped-up ping pong tables, 6 stand-up shuffleboard among others.

Photo credit: Ballers Clubhouse/Facebook 

The planned expansion doesn’t end in Brisbane – Ballers Clubhouse has revealed plans to bring its high-tech gaming playground concept to Adelaide, Hobart, and Geelong soon.

The concept echoes Pawn & Co, another upcoming adult-focused play spot from the group housing a pawn shop, bar, eatery and perfume counter in Fortitude Valley’s former Laruche complex.

Chinatown Mall may feel King of Kings’ absence, but Ballers Clubhouse looks set to breathe fresh life into this iconic address at the Chinatown Mall. Get ready for the playground to welcome grownup kids once more when doors open later this year in the Valley!

Read: Meet Chef Andrew McCrea: The Man Bringing an Extraordinary Tasting Experience to Perspective Dining

Published 14-February-2024 

Why Popular Chinese Eatery in Fortitude Valley Is Closing Until May

King of Kings, the over 30-year-old Chinese restaurant in Fortitude Valley, has been closed to diners since February. Loyal patrons, however, have no reason to worry amid concerns over coronavirus. 

The owners of the Chinese-Australian family eatery has set the record straight in a social media post. They announced that shutdown is due to the restaurant’s major renovations and not the speculated COVID-19 disease.

King of Kings will reopen sometime in May. The owners also placed a sign on its entrance to let their customers know that it will be business as usual once the renovations are done. 

Photo Credit: King of Kings Seafood Restaurant/Facebook

Major news outlets reported that the closure was due to the coronavirus crisis after Kings of Kings’ phone lines and email access were disconnected in mid-February. 

It comes as many of Brisbane’s Chinese restaurants are reportedly experiencing a significant drop in business. The Chinese restaurant communities across Australia have also been reeling from the health scare. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Australia China Business Council head Helen Sawczak appealed to the public amidst the backlash affecting Chinese businesses, especially those in operation in Australia for many decades. She told media outlets that there are millions of Australian citizens with Chinese heritage who have no contact with the virus and those of Chinese ethnicity should not be the target.

Ms Sawczak also said that coronavirus is not a Chinese virus but a global humanitarian crisis. She encouraged the public to still enjoy their Chinese food and “not add to the hysteria.”