BUTTE - An alley in Butte was dedicated as Danny Wong Way on Tuesday, in honor of the man famous for running Butte’s Pekin Noodle Parlor—but Danny Wong's true claim to fame was how beloved he was by those who knew him.
It was a celebratory atmosphere at the ceremony that honored the life of Wong, who died in November. The city dedicated July 20 in his honor and named the alley running behind the restaurant on S. Main Street as Danny Wong Way.
“He treated everybody as a friend. It didn’t matter what your stature was within the community, everybody was on equal playing fields,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.
Former Lt. Governor Mike Cooney made a point to return to his hometown to honor his longtime friend.
“He epitomizes what the people of Butte are all about: caring, thoughtful, and just being a part of something and making it better,” said Cooney.
Wong, an immigrant from China, ran the iconic Chop Suey house in Butte since the 1950s. His son Jerry said he was overwhelmed by the many people at the celebration and that his father lived the American dream.
“It’s a true immigration story from a man walking the alleyways of Guangzhou, China, to the alleyways of Butte, Montana. So imagine, immigrating to America, starting up a business and then getting your own street named after you in America,” said Jerry Tam.
Danny Wong was as unique as the orange walls of his restaurant, which he ran for decades, and Tuesday's ceremony proved that for those who loved him, even though Danny is gone, his legacy will live on.
“It’s amazing, it really is amazing that all these people showed up. Well, actually, Governor Schweitzer once told me that, 'You know, to you, he’s just your dad—the rest of us in Montana, he’s a legend.' It’s a huge honor,” said Danny’s eldest daughter Nancy Tam.
Danny was 86 when he died, but his fame will live on.