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Chinatown restaurants in Las Vegas seeing foot traffic normalize amid pandemic

Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 22:02:42-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Chinatown businesses are bouncing back and it's evident with the busy parking lots as more people are dining at the restaurants and visiting the shopping center.

Some restaurants are rebounding without too many concept changes, while other higher-end places have needed to take steps to adjust with the times.

Cars were lined up Wednesday at the Chinatown mall on Spring Mountain Road. Something business owners said they were happy to see.

“People were ready to get out and ready to eat and ready to dine out. We did see that traffic increase," said Gill Hayon, who handles marketing for Shokku Ramen.

He says more and more people have stopped by to eat to the point where their weekends have become busy while managing COVID-19 safety measures.

“We just added lunch hours for the weekend. So, we’re seeing fantastic results from that traffic increase here in the store,” Hayon said.

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At higher-end restaurants like Partage, general manager Nicolas Kalpokdjian says its higher price point was a concern initially during the pandemic but his restaurant was able to innovate by shifting its focus to tasting menus.

The restaurant also started a popular wine club to continue drawing people in. Kalpokdjian says weekends continue to be booked.

“It feels great because we can see people are willing and eager to celebrate and if they can do it in a safe way, then they’re going to patronize your restaurant,” he said.

The staff at Sparrow and Wolf have taken a similar approach.

Chef and co-owner Brian Howard introduced a pantry so customers could cook recipes at home and adding items like burgers, which has grown to be their most popular item.

“Being able to be inside of a neighborhood, you have to cook for everybody. Everybody is our guest. For us, we throw a dinner party every night. There are no boxes we have to color inside of, so it’s allowed us to pivot in any direction that we can,” he said.

Chinese restaurants hit hardest economically by coronavirus pandemic

Hayon believes the signs in Chinatown are encouraging for a much-needed rebound.

“For restaurants and businesses to reopen, it is promising,” Hayon said.