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Bridgeport, Chinatown, McKinley Park

PHOTOS: Chicagoans Come Together To Support Chinatown Businesses Hit Hard By Coronavirus Fears

“We’re just here to support, you know? We’re really just trying to center restaurants and solidarity,” said an organizer of the Chinatown Crawl.

Scott Rock browses pastries at Tous Les Jours during an event that aimed to support local businesses in Chinatown. "I wish this place the best. Got to spend that money, though, so it doesn't close down," Rock said.
Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
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CHINATOWN — What was supposed to be a meal shared between two people in Chinatown turned out to be a community effort to support neighborhood businesses that have been hit hard by coronavirus fears.

More than 50 people flocked to Chinatown on Monday night for a restaurant and business crawl to support the neighborhood following a 50 percent drop in sales linked to coronavirus fears, according to business owners.

Saint’s Alp Teahouse is feeling the crunch.

Sales have “dropped almost 50 percent,” said owner Kelly Ho, who participated in the event, dubbed Chinatown Crawl. “I never see [that decrease in sales since] I went into business over 13 years.”

RELATED: Want To Support Chinatown This Month? Here’s What To Eat, According To Our Readers

Chinatown Crawl started on Facebook after friends Jose Corcolas and Carlos Matias read an article about loss of sales in Chinatown amid fears of the virus. They decided to support businesses by eating out in Chinatown, then opened their plans to Facebook, Corcolas said.

“Within the hour, we had like a hundred hits,” Corcolas said. “It was all very surreal and very organic too, I guess.”

Supporters broke off into small groups to patronize as many businesses as possible in the area. Some ate at restaurants while others shopped at bakeries, tea shops and a candy store.

“We’re just here to support, you know? We’re really just trying to center restaurants and solidarity,” Corcolas said.

Photos from the Chinatown Crawl:

Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
People clap at Lao Sze Chuan during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Chinatown supporters share dinner at Lao Sze Chuan during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
A Chinatown supporter gets a serving of tofu at Lao Sze Chuan during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
People eat in Lao Sze Chuan during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Joy Yee employees eat in the restaurant’s empty second floor.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Scott Rock browses pastries at Tous Les Jours during an event that aimed to support local businesses in Chinatown. “I wish this place the best. Got to spend that money, though, so it doesn’t close down,” Rock said.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Manuel Caldron drinks a smoothie at Joy Yee during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Kelly Ho, the owner of Saint’s Alp Teahouse, poses for a portrait outside her shop. Ho attended the event to support local businesses in the area. Sales “dropped almost 50 percent. I never see [that decrease in sales since] I went into business over 13 years,” Ho said.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Justin Christopher eats pad Thai at BBQ King House during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Ronald Groves and Justin Christopher share a meal at Hing Kee during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
A chef from BBQ King House chops meat.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
A group of Chinatown supporters, led by Jose Corcolas (left), of Pilsen, wait for their order at BBQ King House during an event that aimed to increase sales in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
People broke off into groups to support as many businesses they could in Chinatown.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
Dozens of Chinatown supporters gathered for a Chinatown Crawl, which aimed to increase sales in Chinatown, which has seen a decrease of sales amid fears of the novel coronavirus.
Credit: Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
A family strolled around Chinatown, where businesses have been negatively impacted by fears of the novel coronavirus.

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