Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Central Subway's First Fallout: San Sun Restauuant Relocates
I've been opposed to the Central Subway (a.k.a. Chinatown Subway) project from the outset. It just seems like too much expense and too much disruption for too long a time to effect a five minute improvement in travel time from Third and Market to Chinatown. Fortunately, the impact on Chinatown will apparently be limited to the taking of one building for the Chinatown Station site, but what a building it is, housing four budget-priced restaurants and one purveyor of house-made sausage and cured meats. These are You's Dim Sum, Little Paris Restaurant, San Sun Restaurant and Joy Hing BBQ Noodles on Stockton Street, and Wycen Meats arount the corner on Washington Street.
The first shoe to fall was the move, last weekend, of San Sun (a.k.a. Tam Duong) Restaurant to larger new quarters on Washington Street. San Sun is a popular Vietnamese-Fukienese-Chaozhouese-Malaysian mashup with a prodigious noodle menu. According to my Chinatown source, San Sun received $250,000 in relocation assistance from the City, but spent ten times that to buy and renovate the building at 848 Washington St. which formerly housed the Great Oriental Restaurant. Fortunately, it's twice the size of the old San Sun, because they'll need to sell a lot of noodles to pay for the upgrade.
As for the other restaurants on the block, Little Paris will probably be the most missed, being unique in providing Vietnamese "bento" box carryouts in addition to serving creditable pho and banh mi. My contact opined that it probably will not be replaced, as the owners were already on the verge of retirement, and there is already a family-run branch of Little Paris on Clement St. You's Dim Sun also has another, more popular branch in Chinatown (on Broadway). My friend had no clue as to the fate of Joy Hing BBQ Noodle House.