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HomeGeneralCalifornia Chinese Restaurant Shuts Down After 44 Years Amid Rising Crime

California Chinese Restaurant Shuts Down After 44 Years Amid Rising Crime

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A picture of Shanghai Chinese Cuisine
Source: nypost/X

Another long-time California establishment has closed its doors following years of rising crime. According to local California news outlets, Shanghai Chinese Cuisine officially announced the closure of its doors on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, after operating in Fresno for 44 years.

“I never wanted to close the restaurant. I wanted to keep Shanghai,” said the restaurant owner, Pauline Dunn. “But under all the circumstances, financially, I cannot afford to stay at this location any longer.” She added, “I never wanted to see Shanghai go down because we have a lot of customers in Fresno who love to come to Shanghai.”

Shanghai Chinese Cuisine has been a staple in the Fresno dining scene since its establishment in 1980. Situated at the intersection of Blackstone Avenue and Griffith Way, Shanghai served as a gathering spot for many Fresnan families. In addition, it was the ideal location for friends for over four decades.

While speaking to the news outlet, a customer noted how Shanghai Chinese Cuisine was their favorite restaurant. “This is our favorite spot to come,” the customer, Gilbert Avila, told ABC 30. “Now we’re not going to be able to come and say hi to Pauline or the waitresses and waiters.” Avila continued, “They’re really nice here.”

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Despite closing the restaurant, Dunn remains hopeful that she could reopen at a new location. Also, she assured her customers that it would be the same cuisine they know and love. “I hope when I reopen, we’re going to have many of our customers coming back to support,” Dunn said.

Like many establishments, the Chinese restaurant has recently been a target for thieves and vandalism. In 2022, there were multiple instances of vandalism and broken windows. Most notably, thieves stole copper parts from the restaurant’s air conditioner on top of the roof.

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Consequently, the building became too hot for some customers. “With this situation, I can’t run my business,” Dunn said. Although she initially planned to close the restaurant earlier, overwhelming customer support prompted her to extend the closure. 

“Customers waiting for like three hours. So, I made a decision myself,” Dunn told reporters. “And I asked my employees that we gonna extend it maybe until the weekend.” According to reports, Dunn and her husband, Jacky Chan, worked in the restaurant before she became one of the owners in 2000.

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She and two other partners took over for Tommy Fong, who first opened Shanghai. “I look forward to seeing Shanghai continue in a new location in the future,” Fong’s grandson, David Wong, said. “I will be there to help support that.” With support from the community, Dunn remains optimistic.

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According to reports, she has secured a $2,500 donation from the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation. In addition, she has filed a $5,000 grant application for equipment. Also, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer expressed his support for Shanghai Chinese Cuisine. “I would love to see them open up in Chinatown,” Dyer said.

Over the past few years, stores and offices have closed throughout California. While some lacked financial resources, many cited a rise in crime. Like Dunn’s restaurant, California burger chain In-N-Out closed its Oakland location due to increasing crime rates.

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