Beloved 44-year-old Chinese restaurant in Fresno set to close

Beloved 44-year-old Chinese restaurant in Fresno set to close
via CBS47 KSEE24
Ryan General
February 22, 2024
After 44 years of serving the local community in central Fresno, California, a beloved Chinese restaurant will be closing its doors on Feb. 24. Days before its scheduled closure, Shanghai Chinese Cuisine has been packed with patrons expressing their support.
About the restaurant: Shanghai Chinese Cuisine has been a staple in the Fresno dining scene since its establishment in 1980, reported the Fresno Bee. Situated at the intersection of Blackstone Avenue and Griffith Way, the establishment served as a gathering spot for many Fresnan families and friends for over four decades. 
“This is our favorite spot to come, and now we’re not going to be able to come and say hi to Pauline or the waitresses and waiters, they’re really nice here,” customer Gilbert Avila told ABC30.

Why it’s closing: Owner Pauline Dunn, who took over in 2000, cited financial strain and a decline in the surrounding area as contributing factors to the closure. Over the years, the restaurant faced numerous setbacks, including theft, vandalism and health code violations, which Dunn attributed to issues in the area exacerbated by homelessness and empty spaces.
“I never wanted to close the restaurant. I wanted to keep Shanghai, but under all the circumstances, financially I cannot afford any longer to stay at this location,” said Dunn.
She initially planned to close the restaurant earlier, but overwhelming customer support prompted her to extend the closure until Sunday.
“Customers waiting for like three hours. So, I made a decision myself and I asked my employees that we gonna extend it maybe until the weekend,” she was quoted by KSEE24 as saying.
Future outlook: With support from the community, Dunn remains optimistic that she will be able to relocate and reopen under the Shanghai name.
“All my valued customers, I want to thank them,” Dunn said. “Thanks to my family, thanks to my friends for all the years of support. There’s a lot of memories for me at this restaurant.”
She has so far secured a $2,500 donation from the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and has filed a $5,000 grant application for equipment. Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer also expressed his support for Shanghai Chinese Cuisine.
“I would love to see them open up in Chinatown. And we have been in conversations about that,” Dyer said. “I had our economic development director speak with them, as well as folks from the area Hispanic chamber to provide them with grant funding to help them along the way.”
 
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