In Chinatown, the owner of tourist friendly knick-knack shop China Bazaar wants to clean up the perfectly dingy face of the neighborhood, which she believes is plagued by too many tacky souvenir shops and subpar food.
China Bazaar owner Betty Louie leads the charge for a new Chinatown. She's already signed on a group of young community residents and business people, according to CBS5. As Louie explains, a group of local shop owners are all on board with the plan to increase the quality of the neighborhood's restaurants.
Chef Brandon Jew, formerly of Bar Agricole, is onboard with an unnamed restaurant coming to the old Four Seas space. Jew pulled out of Asian-centric Mission restaurant Chino to work on the project, which will be a farm-to-table affair focusing on California versions of traditional Chinese dishes.
Likewise, Betelnut owner George Chen plans on bringing Chinese food back to Chinatown with a 20,000 square-foot project inside the old Gold Mountain Theater space on Broadway. Chen's new project will be a multi-story marketplace called China Live and boast a food court, kitchen theater, and a fine dining establishment called Eight Tables. Like Jew's project, Chen's emporium will focus on Chinese food viewed through a locavore Bay Area lens.
Both projects come on the heels of the Mayor Ed Lee's Shop Chinatown 888 campaign, a program intended get people to shop local by offering prizes. Lee's 888 campaign was, it seems, also an attempt to appease local business owners, who claim their restaurant tables are "literally shaking" due to underground construction of the Central Subway — another project that should bring additional traffic to Chinatown, once it is completed in 2018.