Sampan reports that Chau Chow City on Essex Street closes forever on Sunday. Fans of its seafood will now have to drive down to the other Chau Chow on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.
East Ocean City on Beach Street recently closed as well.
Chinatown is an interesting neighborhood. I mean that in a good way. At Chau Chow City you could get food at 3AM and you might even have your bill given to you by a cop. Please stay interesting, Chinatown.
I think you've covered this before, Adam, but I believe it is worth noting again for other commenters that East Ocean City's closing is not rent-related as the proprietor of East Ocean City also owns the building.
Market rent absolutely could be the reason. If he can get more rent money than he can profit from the restaurant, he'd be a stupid businessman to not shut down and rent out.
When I first came to Boston, Grand Chau Chow was THE place to go. On busy nights, there were literally lines outside the door and huge waits. Everyone was thrilled when they opened Chau Chow City, which must have had triple the seating and even served dim sum. A lot of people said it was the best Dim Sum in Boston and to my knowledge, it was.
I don't know what happened to Chau Chow City over the years, but their quality deteriorated and every time I went in, they had fewer and fewer customers. It got to the point where they totally closed their upstairs, and it wouldn't be uncommon to be the only table in there. It's sad to see it go, but I am really not all that surprised to see it go. Also, the bathrooms must have broken 50 health code violations. They were vile! I also remember East Ocean City as a good restaurant.
I was bracing myself after seeing the news about East Ocean City (which I know is for different reasons, but still). I'd been going there since I was 7, so a little over 20 years at this point. Like you, I remember watching its rise and fall. I mean, I remember when that panda waterfall mural was clean and running, and that flickering light in the women's bathroom had probably been like that for a decade at this point. My family still liked to go back there for special occasions, partially out of habit and because it's easier to get to than the Quincy dimsum restaurant for us. We had a lot of extended family gatherings in that upstairs room, so there's a lot of memories laying around in that building. Heck, I even took my coworkers there because the line at Pho Pasteur was too long and we needed something quick.
I'm really sad to see it go, and for me it's a hard reminder of how fast Chinatown is changing these days. Goodbye World's Third Largest Shark Fin.
Now where am I going to get my Singapore noodles fix?
That's prime real estate there, right now two levels of parking and the restaurant, and maybe some office space on the top floor? Probably generates a cashflow today as a parking garage, but I could see a developer swooping in and building something more useful, although the restaurant would be displaced.
I've ended some pretty epic nights at this place, and they have some of the best sesame chicken in town.
Pro-density, pro-gentrification, anti-cultural neighborhood idiots are winning.
Besides being one of the few Chinatown restaurants where the noise level is not unbearable, the food is good and the staff is friendly.
This is (was) our default Dim Sum location. We've been going here for over 25 years.
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