Please update your browser.

Thank you for visiting our site! We noticed you are using a browser we no longer support. To have the best overall experience and avoid issues navigating the site, please click one of the supported browsers to the right to download the latest version for free:

Join Our Mailing List

Join Our Mailing List

Join Our Mailing List

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By subscribing to our newsletter, you consent to receive email updates from The Zupancic Group. We respect your privacy and will not share your information with third parties.

In Bidding War, Chinatown Restaurant Building Fetches $7.4 Million At Auction

A venerable Chinatown seafood restaurant that’s been around since the 1980s may soon get a new lease on life, a little more than a year after the building that houses it was threatened with foreclosure.

The 16,359-square-foot building at 619 H St. NW sold at auction Wednesday for $7.4 million to an Annandale-based buyer that intends to keep Tony Cheng’s Seafood Restaurant open for business, according to sources familiar with the situation. Baltimore Midtown LLC cast the winning bid after a volley of 48 offers among four bidders that drove the price up from $4.25 million. The sale is expected to close in the next 30 days.

“The buyer appears to be a company that is interested in allowing them to stay in business.” said Maurice “Mac” VerStandig, an attorney with The Belmont Firm who represented the restaurant group in the proceedings.

The building had been owned by an affiliate of Tony Cheng’s, Cheng & Co., which defaulted on the mortgage last year and ended up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Marcus & Millichap’s The Zupancic Group was tapped to market the property as part of a court-approved bankruptcy process.

Senior Vice President Marty Zupancic said interest in the property cooled significantly after news surfaced that in December that Washington Capitals and Wizards could be moving from nearby Capital One Arena to a new venue in Alexandria. But prospective investors came back to the table with renewed zeal after the teams’ owner, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, struck a deal with Mayor Muriel Bowser in March to keep the teams in the city, said Zupancic, who marketed the property with colleague John Slowinski.

It’s too soon to say what will become of the building’s ground-floor space, which had been home to Tony Cheng Mongolian restaurant until it closed last year. VerStandig said it’s possible Tony Cheng could reboot the concept or something else in the space depending on negotiations between the restaurant group and its new landlord. The seafood restaurant, which remains open, is on the building’s second floor.

Wednesday’s outcome was among the best-case scenarios for Tony Cheng’s, as it opens the door to the restaurant group restructuring its debts and emerging from the situation on firmer financial footing, VerStandig said. “They’ve been in business for 40 some years, I mean Jimmy Carter ate there,” he said. “That’s pretty spectacular.”

Zupancic said he couldn’t recall a more dramatic reversal in the course of marketing an asset for sale.

D.C.’s Monument Realty emerged as the stalking horse bidder, initially offering $4.25 million, and an auction was triggered after three other parties also expressed interest. The price was driven up in increments of $50,000, culminating in the winning bid from Baltimore Midtown.

“I think it was a combination of several things, one being that Monumental and the sports teams staying,” Zupancic said of the sale price. “I also think that there’s a general sense that the deal made with the city and Monumental was such that [the neighborhood] could be even better than it was before. The investment the city’s putting into the arena, and their commitment to reduce crime and have enough police officers present to keep things safe, those were things I heard personally and also competition drove the price up.”

Cheng & Co. was first threatened with foreclosure in April 2023 after defaulting on a loan it took out in 2012. At the time, its outstanding balance to the lender, United Bank, was $3.7 million.

Cheng & Co. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in April 2023, forestalling the property’s first planned auction. United Bank will be paid back in full with proceeds from Wednesday’s sale, while its other creditors will also receive partial payment from the remaining funds. Those creditors are: Yellow Breeches Capital LLC, with a claim of $2 million; EagleBank, with a claim of $1.4 million; and PCH Investments LLC, with a claim of $839,200.

Read more at the Washington Business Journal.

View 619 H Street NW.

About Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI)

Marcus & Millichap is the nation’s largest brokerage firm focused exclusively on investment sales. It is based on a simple premise: matching each property with the largest pool of pre-qualified investors. With over 2,000 investment sales and financing professionals located throughout the United States and Canada, Marcus & Millichap is a leading specialist in commercial real estate investment sales, financing, research, and advisory services. Founded i­n 1971, the firm closed 8,954 transactions in 2020 with a value of approximately $43 billion. Marcus & Millichap has perfected a powerful system for marketing properties that combines investment specialization, local market expertise, the industry’s most comprehensive research, state-of-the-art technology, and relationships with the largest pool of qualified investors. To learn more about the company, please visit