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Lincoln Park, Old Town

Lan’s Old Town Shut Down — Again — After Hosting Second Maskless Party In 2 Months

Lan's Old Town hosted 27 people who weren't wearing masks for a party Valentine's Day weekend, city inspectors found.

Lan's Old Town seen on January 11, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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OLD TOWN — Lan’s Old Town, the Chinese takeout spot and private party venue busted for hosting an illegal party last month, has been shut down indefinitely after hosting another party where attendees were not wearing face masks.

Lan’s, 1507 N. Sedgwick Ave., was cited for hosting 27 people on Saturday in close proximity without social distancing or face coverings, according to the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Employees weren’t wearing face coverings and the restaurant’s patrons weren’t seated, according to the department.

City coronavirus regulations for bars and restaurants limits tables to 10 people or fewer and they must remain 6 feet apart. Diners and patrons must be seated and wearing masks anytime they are not eating or drinking.

The restaurant was issued a long-term closure order, which requires Lan’s to remain closed indefinitely until the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection approves a plan for it to safely reopen, according to the agency.

Jimmy Ma, who owns Lan’s Old Town, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A video screen shows Jimmy and Jeffrey Ma of Lan’s Old Town on January 11, 2021.

Last month, the restaurant temporarily closed after a video surfaced online showing a crowd of more than 60 people packed into the restaurant with no face masks, except for Ma, whose mask was around his chin as he pours vodka from the same bottle into guests’ mouths. The video was viewed thousands of times before Reddit removed it from the site.

Ma, speaking outside his restaurant last month, confirmed the party seen in the video occurred, and neighbors of the restaurant have said it’s been the source of many wild parties for years.

In an emailed statement, co-owner Jeffrey Ma, Jimmy Ma’s son, said they hosted the party seen in the video “out of desperation.”

“While we recognize that we should not have hosted the party, the decision was made out of desperation. COVID-19 has ravaged restaurants in our community and many are unable to survive,” Jeffrey Ma wrote. “It was wrong to resort to these desperate actions.”

Lan’s latest party happened right before Valentine’s Day. City inspectors said overall they found a high level of compliance that holiday weekend, according to the city.

The city conducted 72 investigations and only Lan’s was written up for COVID-19 violations.

“While it is great news that we have made enough progress to expand indoor dining yesterday, we must stay diligent as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rosa Escareno, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. “Our businesses have consistently stepped up over the last eleven months, and I expect the high level of compliance to continue as we hopefully keep moving in the right direction.”

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