Tuesday, October 27, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Business is looking up in Chinatown.
"It's been amazing," said ShangHai Taste managing partner Joe Muscaglione.
Muscaglione said ShangHai Taste is now seeing pre-pandemic numbers as far as volume of customers.
"Not surprising in the sense that Chinatown Vegas went from being obscure to being a major foodie definition so people are coming here," he said.
He said the majority of customers are tourists, but it's a known spot for locals, too. Even at 50% capacity, customers are packing the restaurant on the weekends for a bite of their popular soup dumplings.
But while conventions and business meetings are still paused, weekdays are slow.
Muscaglione said his restaurant and others in Chinatown have had to work harder and take even more safety precautions to get customers back inside.
"We're even more relentless and nonstop because of the stigma that's around us, that 'Chinatown,'" said Muscaglione.
"We have a lot of great, bigger restaurants in this plaza which gives us the foot traffic," said Alisa Nguyen, general manager of Orchid. "We definitely picked up around Labor Day weekend and we've been super busy ever since."
Nguyen said when they first reopened after the shutdown, it was slow. She said she hopes the momentum from Labor Day weekend continues.
"Hopefully before the holidays, the restrictions lift some more because the weekends we have about half hour waits."
As some families will be hesitant to travel this holiday season, Muscaglione said Christmas in Chinatown could be even busier.
"We're going to continue being a mom, an aunt, two first cousins and make dumplings as fast as we can," said Muscaglione.
Both restaurants said they have safety precautions, plus the delivery and take-out system down pat from reopening after the first shutdown.
If more restrictions are put in place, they're prepared to keep their doors open.
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