Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stapleton Chinese Restaurant (and it's NOT Tung Bo)

97-99 Water Street, Stapleton - 1931

When I was a kid Chinese restaurants were not that common and many tended to be of the Jade Island "Polynesian" variety. Today, of course, they're everywhere and some are quite good. My first memory of eating in one was in Stapleton in the very early seventies. It struck my five year old self as very exotic and very great. I remember the food was like nothing I had had ever had before and I liked it.

You can't see the restaurant's name but you can see the wonderful Chinese-style awning and the curtains and decorations on the second floor window in detail.

I can't remember it's name right now, but it was originally located up on the second floor of a building on Water Street in Stapleton two store fronts down from the the late and lamented Woolworths.

At some point it moved half a block away to Beach Street and remained there into the eighties. Eventually it closed and was replaced by a hair salon. You can still see the outline of the Chinese style entrance and small windows that marked it's existence.

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NOTE: I'd like to know more about the history of Chinese-Americans on Staten Island. Growing up I didn't encounter too many but from my readings I know that at one point there were like a dozen Chinese laundries on Jersey Street with more about the Island. The restaurant above was opened in at lest 1931 and remained open for more than fifty years. That's a remarkable history. I'd like to know who these immigrants were, what drew them here and what happened to them.


Elizabeth said...

I think the name was Ying Wah.

Anonymous said...

If it was the Chinese Restaurant a few doors from Woolworth's, it was called "ChopSuey". You can see the sign on an earlier facebook posting. It is a picture of a young girl, leaning against a car with the sign behind her.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth is correct the name of the restaurant was Ying Wah's