If Ho Lee Chow is your favourite spot for Chinese food, then Wednesday was a sad day.

The Chinese restaurant chain that began in Toronto and became famous for not using MSG in its food has ceased operation.

The answering message at Ho Lee Chow’s head office Wednesday confirmed as much.

“Due to circumstance beyond our control, one of which is poor economic climate, another of which is a refusal to compromise on the quality and service you have come to appreciate, Ho Lee Chow has closed down operations.

“We truly apologize for the inconvenience and thank you once again for your patronage,” a man’s voice said.

The company’s website was also taken down Wednesday.

Ho Lee Chow began with six Toronto locations in 1989. Franchises quickly appeared across Ontario and later in other provinces making it a household name in Chinese takeout.

It seems, however, that some locations are staying open: the restaurant at Jarvis and Dundas streets was still serving customers on Wednesday night.