White Couple’s ‘Clean’ Chinese Restaurant Shuts Down After Only 8 Months

White Couple’s ‘Clean’ Chinese Restaurant Shuts Down After Only 8 Months
Bryan Ke
By Bryan Ke
December 10, 2019
Lucky Lee’s, a Chinese-American restaurant ran by nutritionist Arielle Haspel, has closed down eight months after opening its doors in April.
Haspel’s restaurant, located at 67 University Place in Greenwich Village, New York, made the announcement on Dec. 6, Friday, on Instagram, according to Eater.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are shutting down our woks and ovens tonight. We have truly loved feeding and entertaining you and your families,” the restaurant wrote. “We are very proud of our food and the space we created, but a lot needs to come together to make a restaurant work in New York City and we wish it could have succeeded as we hoped.”
Lucky Lee’s opening in April received major backlash from the Asian community after its restaurateur marketed the restaurant’s Chinese food as “clean” while traditional food as “oily,” “salty,” and “icky.”
Many people reportedly flooded the restaurant’s social media with messages calling out its owner, saying how they were profiting from Chinese culture while also disrespecting it. There were also others who called out the name of the restaurant implying that it is Chinese owned, but it’s actually the name of Haspel’s Caucasian husband.
After the outrage, Haspel addressed criticisms of racism and cultural appropriation and offered a public apology on the restaurant’s Instagram.
“We are so sorry,” Haspel told New York Times. “We were never trying to do something against the Chinese community. We thought we were complementing an incredibly important cuisine, in a way that would cater to people that had certain dietary requirements.”
The reason behind the closure was not revealed despite a report in October from The Villager stating the restaurant was “flourishing” after the controversy died down.
Feature Image via luckyleesnyc
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