Jing Fong, the go-to place for dim sum lovers in Manhattan, will permanently close its doors for indoor dining starting next month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant will remain open until March 7 before shutting down its indoor dining room for good, according to its announcement on Instagram last week.
“Please, join us safely for one last meal inside as we look back on all the memories we had here together,” the restaurant wrote. “If you do not feel comfortable dining with us yet, no worries at all. We will continue to post memories shared with us on our stories.” Jing Fong will operate at 25% capacity until it closes, according to NY Eater.
Jing Fong previously announced a temporary closure of its Elizabeth Street branch in March 2020. The restaurant saw a massive drop in sales during this period, which pushed its third-generation owner and manager Truman Lam to make a tough decision. “With our drastic decline in sales and mounting losses sustained over the course of a year, we needed to make the tough call to close our indoor dining space and redirect our resources in hopes to continue our operations,” Lam said.
Jing Fong saw its year-over-year sales drop by 85%, resulting in a loss of about $5-6 million. The restaurant was already seeing a drastic drop in sales before the mandate to shut down indoor dining was introduced last year. In February 2020, Lam said he only saw 36 guests walk in even though the restaurant's indoor dining room can legally hold up to 794 people. Jing Fong's daily drop in visitors supposedly arose due to the racism and xenophobia brought about by the current pandemic, as well as the decline of Chinatown tourism.
The restaurant first opened its doors in 1978 before moving to its Elizabeth Street branch in 1992. Jing Fong opened its second branch in Manhattan's Upper West Side in 2017. Although they will be closed for indoor dining, Jing Fong’s Elizabeth Street branch will continue “to operate from the 2nd floor kitchen for our outside patio, take-out, and delivery until further notice.” Jing Fong’s Upper West Side branch will continue to operate as usual. Feature Image via @jingfongny
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