Businesses applaud the flood of customers after the pandemic resulted in loss of business and an increase in crime.
SEATTLE – Restaurant workers in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) say they have queues at the door again and some say they are busy seven days a week as the region begins to recover from the pandemic.
“It’s fun to see how everyone is on the move,” said goPoké manager Jonathan Liang.
Liang’s Restaurant is located in the heart of the CID across from Hing Hay Park. He has been watching the neighborhood travel for the past 16 months. In March 2020, goPoké lost much of its business when people started working from home.
“It was pretty quick too. It wasn’t a gradual thing, it was just done,” Liang said.
Others recall that stores left the neighborhood even earlier.
“We saw a decline in customers and patronage in January even before the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the US,” said An Huynh, community development manager at Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Roller Coaster Development Authority for our business here. ”
By driving, the neighborhood has weathered the pandemic with not only a loss of business but also an increase in crime.
Huynh believes there is a sense of hope in the neighborhood now as people are excited to return.
The city of Seattle welcomes visitors to the CID this weekend with a two-day arts, music and food festival in Hing Hay Park.
The festival is part of the city’s “Welcome Back Seattle” celebration, which focuses on the economic recovery of the Seattle area.
Huynh said the pandemic has strengthened the neighborhood’s connections and built a community she is eager to share.
“The fact that we’re still here and people are excited to open again and come back is a testament to how strong this neighborhood is,” said Huynh.