One of Manhattan Chinatown’s decades-old restaurants, coffee shop and dim sum spot Hop Shing, has permanently closed down. The shop went dark over the summer after initially staying open for takeout during the pandemic, and the owners later confirmed the closure in a Sing Tao Daily report translated and re-published by City Limits in early August. An Eater tipster saw kitchen equipment being hauled out of the location this week.
Hop Shing was a longstanding fixture in the neighborhood where customers gathered over coffee and an endless variety of baked goods and dim sum. Puffy roast pork buns, sweet rice rolls, and fragrant, hot coconut buns were available for just a dollar or two, and the restaurant was known as a bustling, reliable meeting spot for many in the city.
Other well-known Chinatown shops including Amazing 66 and Golden Mandarin Court have also shut down this summer amid the pandemic, Sing Tao Daily reports. Outdoor dining setups have drummed up business for some restaurants in the neighborhood, but many are still struggling due to the complete loss of tourism traffic and the ongoing ban on indoor dining.
The devastating economic effects of the pandemic hit New York City’s several Chinatowns early and hard, as customers avoided Chinese restaurants partly due to xenophobic responses to the virus, which was later found to have largely entered the country from Europe. Nonprofits like Welcome to Chinatown have stepped in to launch events and generate awareness and revenue for Chinatown businesses that are trying to stay open throughout the crisis.
It’s not clear yet what the full impact of the pandemic will be on the restaurant industry in Chinatown and elsewhere throughout the city. Restaurants continue to announce permanent closures at a staggering rate, and an actual accounting of how many restaurants closed due to the coronavirus crisis could take years.