BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Maybe you’ve heard the rumors that Bakersfield’s most famous Chinese restaurant is closing. Well – not exactly. Not right away, at least.

The owners of Great Castle, founded in September of 1978 by the late Tzu Chun Wang, are suffering the same fate as many mom-and-pop businesses. The business’s third generation has no interest in continuing in the footsteps of their grandparents and their parents — the founders’ children, Yang Li Wang, Steve Wang and Mei Li Wang.

So Great Castle – at least as we’ve known it – is closing. And the word is out.

“Everybody calls, every day,” said Yang Li Wang, one of the co-owners. “‘I heard about you guys wanna close?’ I say, ‘Oh, not close. (For) two years we will try to sell the restaurant. Then we can retire, you know?’”

That’s right. Two years. Two years for customers to get their fill of the place if possible. Two years for the right buyers to step forward and take over – what appears to be, most weekday lunch hours, certainly – a gold mine.

“It doesn’t matter location,” Wang said. “OK? Depends (on) the food.”

That’s clearly Domenique Buck’s take on the situation. She’s been coming here for years and years, she says, for everything from ordinary lunches to special family occasions.

“The food is delicious,” she said as she sat at a table, waiting to order. “It just feels like home and especially on a cold day, there’s no place better to eat.”

Great Castle’s owners really have no one to blame for the generational divide but themselves – and they’re OK with that. Their children all worked at the restaurant as teens bussing tables – and watching their parents work hard. Their parents used that for motivation.

They told their children, “If you don’t study good, all you guys work in the restaurant. No more school,” Wang said. “So everybody (was scared), they studied good, got a good education – so everybody has a good job. So nobody wants to take it over, the restaurant job.”

That’s the deadline, then. Two years.

“We don’t want to work until we die,” Wang said, as her two siblings smiled and nodded. “We gotta enjoy life a little too, right?”

In the market for your own Chinese restaurant? Now’s the time to act. And the retiring owners of Great Castle are willing to train.