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Asian American Policy Review ; 31:30-33,91, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1887666


Chin asserts that before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 40,000 Chinese restaurants were operating across America. That's more than all the McDonalds, KFC's, Wendy's and Pizza Huts combined. Located in nearly every community and corner of the country, these ubiquitous establishments, big and small, are as American as apple pie, and, of course, more delicious. The $15 billion Chinese restaurant industry, which includes many independently owned family businesses, was amongst the first to be hit, and hit hard, by the economic crisis wrought by the coronavirus. The first Chinese restaurant in America, the Canton Restaurant, opened in San Francisco in 1849. Thousands of Chinese men had left Southern China to mine for treasures on Gold Mountain. These bachelors needed a place to eat. By 1850, there were five such establishments. However, the growing wave of anti-Asian immigration policies, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, kept the community small and limited the number of Chinese restaurants to a dozen or so.