Chinatown Threatened by ‘Trendy’ Restaurants

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Commenters who worried about the opening of Apothéke will be further disturbed by a report released by two community organizations, somberly titled “Converting Chinatown: A Snapshot of a Neighborhood Becoming Unaffordable and Unlivable.” It touches on longtime tenants being pushed out so that condos and hotels can be built, but the interesting part, for our purposes, is the fact that 118 new high-end boutiques and cafés opened in 2008. The survey includes a map of “trendy” restaurants, meaning those with English menus, non-bilingual staff, and above-average prices that target wealthy clients.

It’s hard to know how much stock to put in the map since names are absent, as is any explanation of what constitutes “above-average prices.” Would a place like An Choi qualify as trendy, despite its attempt at value and authenticity? (Over at Eater, commenters are up in arms about the $8 sandwiches.) And if you added marks for non-trendy restaurants (for instance, the noodle shop that just opened), wouldn’t they completely overwhelm the relatively few high-end establishments that have been creeping in?

Special-District Zoning Is Urged for Chinatown [City Room/NYT]