Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Effect Of Recession on New Chinese Restaurants

Remarkably, the recession has not seemed to have affected the number of Chinese restaurants operating in the San Gabriel Valley. Yes, restaurants have ceased operation, but in almost every case a new Chinese restaurant shows up to take the place of the one that closed down. This is evidenced by the relatively small number of vacant restaurant locations in the SGV.

However, there is now one sign that the recession might be taking its toll. We're now seeing planned new branches of existing successful Chinese restaurants scrapped or on extended delay. The sign indicating a branch of Hunan Seafood at the old Red Ant Cafe location on Valley Bl. in San Gabriel is no longer in the window. The return of Lu Din Gee to San Gabriel at the vacated Newport Seafood location is taking forever, with the construction site in disarray. And there is no longer any indication of Jazz Cat Cafe opening a branch in Fortune Plaza on Valley Bl. in San Gabriel across from Hawaii Market.

Indeed, the newly opened Fortune Plaza is an especially sad looking place. Most of the space is empty. There is a Yogurtland at the back of the Plaza, but I might have been their only customer today (the trash bins were empty), as it is inconspicuously located and hard to find. Given how crowded every other Yogurtland is this is quite unusual. Of course, as somebody pointed out, how many malls are anchored by a Yogurtland?

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