Still Closed Following 2020 Fire, China Max Seafood To Rebrand Under New Ownership In San Diego's Kearny Mesa

January 1, 2024

More than three years since a 3-alarm fire destroyed the once-popular dim sum destination, China Max Seafood restaurant will rebrand under new ownership in San Diego's Kearny Mesa.

China Max has been serving authentic Cantonese-style Chinese fare and dim sum to San Diego since 2003. The restaurant was founded by Tea and Wine Inc., which was managed by Cindy & Bowan Wo, Judy Britt, Kong Cheung and Larry Thoi.

On April 6, 2020, a fire broke out at the Kearny Mesa restaurant, gutting the two-story restaurant, causing an estimated $4.5 million in damage and sending two firefighters to the hospital with minor injuries. Like all bars and eateries around San Diego County, China Max Seafood Restaurant was closed to dine-in customers because of COVID-19 pandemic precautions at the time of the fire, although it was open for takeout.

In early 2021, China Max announced on its Facebook page plans to reopen in 2022, but the restaurant still sits dormant within Convoy Street’s Plaza del Sol Shopping Center. Although original owners planned to reopen, they have now sold the restaurant.

Public records now show that China Max has been taken over by Yingkang Lu and Xiaoxi Zhang, who once operated modern Chinese restaurant Kangxi Is Coming only a half-mile away from China Max and also own Kanpai BBQ & Shabu on Convoy Street and nearby Cantonese eatery Taste of Hong Kong. China Max's new owners will rename the restaurant and reopen it later this year, possibly with a menu of authentic Cantonese dishes and dim sum similar to China Max, although plans are still in development. 

The new restaurant taking over China Max Seafood aims to open by this summer at 4698 Convoy Street, Suite 101, in San Diego's Kearny Mesa.