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Exceptionally Good Pies: Harry Chow and the Globe Restaurant

Colour photograph. Inside the Globe Restaurant kitchen. An oven is visible behind a man and woman are in the centre of the photo.

Harry Chow and Marjorie (Breen) Chow inside the Globe Restaurant. Circa early 1970s.


“The Globe Cafe was run by Harry Chow and Marg, and as youngsters you could go in and get your chips and your Coke or whatever and there was meals being served there,” Frank Beson recalls.

Originally from Hoi Ping, Canton, China, laundryman Harry Chow came to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland on the SS Caribou in 1935 at the age of 24. After paying the Chinese Head Tax, he settled in St. John’s where he worked for a period before moving to Windsor. While in Windsor, Harry worked in the Globe Cafe, which he eventually purchased and renamed the Globe Restaurant.

Audio clip with transcript: Corey Sharpe discusses the Globe Restaurant.

Harry Chow did not speak English well and as an immigrant was unable to obtain a bank loan to purchase the Globe Cafe.  Through the generosity of a well-known Windsor businessman, Harry was able to borrow money to buy the restaurant.  Harry’s daughter, Madeline Chow Healey, noted that her father was a hardworking man who hired many people from Windsor and gave back to the community.  Harry was also known for sponsoring other Chinese immigrants and helping them establish themselves in Newfoundland.

Black and white photograph. Two men standing on steps of the Globe Cafe between two bay windows. Signs on top of building from left to right read: Brookfield ICE CREAM DRINKS, GLOBE CAFE, and CONFECTIONERY, TOBACCO, and CIGARETTES. Bottom right sign says: DRINK Coca-Cola.

Globe Cafe. Circa late 1950s.

As Roy Oldford remembers:

“Because of the closed policy of the AND Company and the town of Grand Falls, there were no Chinese restaurants in Grand Falls, so the Chinese families settled in Windsor. So you had the Globe which was owned by Harry Chow – Mr. Chow was basically the sponsor of the Chinese families for central Newfoundland; he brought in a lot of families.”

Harry married Marjorie Breen, who worked with him at the Globe Restaurant, and the couple raised their family in Windsor. Harry had a close relationship with many other merchants and business owners on Main Street.

Elizabeth Münch Power’s father Hermann ran a shop on Main Street. She recalls:

“The first shoe shop was next to the pool hall. It was on Main Street and at that time it was next to the Globe, Chow’s restaurant. Mom and Mrs. Chow got to be very good friends over the period of the businesses being side by side.”

Black and white photograph. Two cars parked in front of the Globe Restaurant. Signs above the door from left to right read CONFECTIONERY ICE COOL DRINKS, Globe Restaurant, and TOBACCO AND CIGARETTES. Sign stating Players Please hung in both windows.

Exterior view of Globe Restaurant. Circa 1950s.