Top New York City noodle chain Xi’an Famous Foods has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the months-long closure is taking a major toll on the business. Xi’an permanently closed its Greenpoint location — at 648 Manhattan Avenue, between Nassau and Norman Avenues — last week, and CEO Jason Wang says the West Village location, at Sixth Avenue and West 3rd Street, will likely close by the end of this month as well.
Other locations may be forced to close too, Wang says, but didn’t say which ones. “It’s going to be almost a certainty that many of our stores won’t reopen,” Wang says.
While Xi’an has been selling noodle meal kits and packets of its hit chile oil online amid the pandemic, that hasn’t been enough to overcome the financial losses. In a sign posted on the Greenpoint store’s door, Wang writes that “we must be moving on to cut our losses at this location.”
Xi’an closed all of its 14 locations on March 14, just a few days before the state’s shutdown order on dining-in went into effect, and laid off nearly 200 staffers within the week. While many restaurants that had initially closed during the pandemic have since reopened for takeout and delivery, Wang has kept his restaurants closed, writing in March that he wanted “to protect our guests and staff.”
Wang says he’s not sure if he’ll start opening locations with the second phase of reopening in NYC later this month or early next month, which will allow restaurants to offer outdoor seating. Xi’an is, however, moving forward with plans to open a new location at 96 Eighth Avenue, near West 15th Street, a plan that had already been set in motion prior to the pandemic, Wang says. That location will open when the rest of the locations reopen, he says.
Prior to the pandemic, Xi’an was dealt another setback when its Long Island City location caught on fire. That location is still undergoing construction and will remain closed indefinitely.
For now, Xi’an is concentrating on online sales. Aside from its tingly noodle kits, and chile oil packs — the latter of which frequently sell out, Xi’an is also selling two kinds of frozen dumplings, that are sold for $29.95 and come with 30 dumplings per order.