HomeChinese AmericanChristmas cheer missing for Chinatown businesses in 2020

Christmas cheer missing for Chinatown businesses in 2020

Photo by Shmuel Spiegelman via Wikimedia Creative Commons

The usual hustle and bustle on Christmas gave way to a quiet winter day in Chinatowns from New York to San Francisco Friday.

“It’s def a change to see Chinatown go from people everywhere to having no one here,” said Nicholas Yu to ABC7 in San Francisco.

Most restaurants which are normally open on Christmas day closed due to the coronavirus shutdown through much of California.

It was much the same in New York.

“You know, I’d be joking if I said it felt the same,” said said James Markowitz who told CBS New York he comes to Chinatown every year for Christmas. “You can kind of tell that there’s not as many people around. It’s a little sad. But, I think the businesses are getting some good support.”

For many Chinese restaurants, Christmas is their busiest day of the year. Some managed to make the best of it.

“We’re Jewish and this is a tradition,” said  Grant Diamond who spoke with NewJersey.com about his annual visit to a Chinese restaurant. This year, take out was the order of the day.

John Lin owns Lin’s Palace in Morristown, NJ.

“It’s a very busy day,” he said.

Back in San Francisco, Far East Cafe which opened 100 years ago announced earlier this month it would be closing at the end of the year. However, news of a possible bail out from San Francisco could change that.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the restaurant could get a lifeline from a proposed $1.9 million relief package for Chinatown restaurants.

The measure which Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Sandra Lee introduced Tuesday would pay Chinatown restaurants to provide meals for needy Chinatown residents through the Chinatown Community Development Center’s Feed and Fuel program.

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