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San Francisco’s Chinatown closes street to allow more space for outdoor dining, retail

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — In an effort to bring back visitors, San Francisco’s Chinatown closed Grant Avenue on weekends to allow more space for outdoor dining and retail.

The closure spans from California to Washington streets and lasts 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The closure is helping some of the businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.

San Francisco’s Chinatown is bringing life back to its streets.

On Sunday, visitors strolled down a now closed Grant Avenue.

“We talk to the people, the customers when they come in to see how many people are in the Bay Area that are just coming into the city for the day, just for something to do and that seems to be picking up,” one man said. “I had customers from Stockton today. I had some customers from Santa Rosa today.”

In an effort to revive its businesses, the Chinatown Merchants Association recently closed down three blocks of Grant Avenue from California to Washington Streets.

Restaurants like Dim Sum corner are now in their third weekend of offering outdoor dining.

“We love the street closure. It brings people back to Chinatown,” Mak said. “You know even before the shutdown Chinatown was already really affected at the end of last year because of some people perceiving it as the Chinese virus so even this year when we had the Chinese New Year parade, it was significantly lower than before.”

Jaynry Mak is a managing partner at dim sum corner, a place that normally sees thousands of visitors throughout the summer.

But now with the pandemic, business took a dramatic nose dive. Mak says she had cut business hours and strip back to a skeleton crew.

“We’re doing about 10 percent of the business we did last year at this time and we really had to shift quick and make changes quick,” Mak said. “We are a full service indoor dining. We had to move everything outside.”

Like several other businesses on this street, Dim Sum corner is only open on the weekends. During the closures, which are every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sept. 20.

As people trickle back into Chinatown, businesses are hopeful more will follow.

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