Jing Fong workers mobilize to protest the restaurant’s dining room closing
Dim sum legend Jing Fong rocked the industry when it announced that its longstanding Chinatown location would be shutting down its cavernous dining room next week. As customers were lining up to squeeze in one last meal indoors at the institution after the news broke, unionized Jing Fong workers were mobilizing to protest. Bowery Boogie reports that the 318 Restaurant Workers Union has issued a statement condemning Jing Fong’s decision to shut down its dining room, and is urging supporters to attend a rally on March 2 at 11 a.m. at 193 Centre Street, near Hester Street, to stand and protest the closing with Jing Fong workers and union members.
“We are devastated that the owner of Jing Fong is trying to close,” a union statement posted to Instagram reads. “Not only would our community lose an iconic banquet hall, but also unionized workers would lose their jobs, and their rights would be violated.” The union represents roughly 70 Jing Fong dining room workers, according to union president Nelson Mar, and the dining room closure will mean the loss of about 100 jobs overall. Jing Fong is currently the only unionized restaurant in Chinatown.
The union is organizing the rally to put pressure on Jing Fong and landlord Jonathan Chu to figure out a way to keep the Chinatown institution’s dining room open. “The employer and the landlord should work together with the union to ensure that the restaurant continues to operate in its iconic role in the community as the largest Chinese restaurant in New York City,” the union’s statement reads.
Update, 1:00 p.m.: This story has been updated with comment from 318 Restaurant Workers Union president Nelson Mar.
In other news
— Food delivery platform Chowbus has partnered with NYC-based Asian spice-kit and starters company Omsom to deliver culturally appropriate meal kits to make dishes like spicy bulgogi and Chinese shrimp mala salad, at home.
— The Robb Report looks at how trailblazing chef Patrick Clark changed the landscape of modern American dining.
— The team at Coffee Project has put together a scholarship to offer six African-American coffee workers access to an intensive two-day virtual barista training program, in partnership with Chobani, to better support diversity in the coffee industry, according to a spokesperson. The scholarship program is accepting applications until March 21.
— Beloved dumpling shop Mimi Cheng’s is opening a new Upper West Side location, at 309 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 74th and 75th streets, this Saturday.
— Bareburger is adding two new “fish” sandwiches to its menu using a fish-free alternative from Good Catch. The sandwiches will be available at the burger chain’s Astoria and Upper West Side locations through March 10, according to a company representative.
— Chef Kia Damon is popping up at 657 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn on Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., with bowls of chicken and sausage gumbo with a side of rice for $12. Proceeds benefit Damon’s Kia Feeds the People nonprofit.
— Restaurateur Fabiola Maldonado has opened a new Mexican restaurant Paloma’s BK in the former Guadalupe Inn space in Bushwick.
— Fancy berry purveyor Oshii is expanding its offerings and adding two different berry trays to its lineup: $15 for a 3-tray and $29 for a 6-tray. Previously, the trays started at $50 apiece. Customers can place orders for delivery or pickup from Olmsted in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn Kura in Industry City, and Café Kitsuné in the West Village.
— Lunch plans: