CINCINNATI (FOX19) - For the past 20 years, Shanghai Mama’s has served up Asian favorites in Cincinnati, but now, the longtime staple has been forced to shut its doors.
Fortunately, it’s not closed for good.
A new location is opening at 700 Elm Street, but the owner needs some help from the community to get it done.
Shanghai Mama’s was established 20 years ago in downtown Cincinnati.
Open till 3 a.m., it served as a late-night spot where many have created memories for decades.
“We can see people; they were single, they were young just like me once again once upon a time and then they all got family and then they come back," said Owner of Shanghai Mama’s, Alex Chin. "Any event in downtown, go to a ball game, go to a Reds game go to a show they come back to see us.”
But, due to the pandemic, the doors were shut at the original location on East 6th Street just a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s kind of sad, but this is my ninth restaurant I opened so, I’m kind of like a veteran," said Chin. "So, you get mixed feelings but again I need to concentrate on the new beginning.”
While Chin was fortunate enough to find a new location, it is still a challenge opening in the middle of a pandemic.
“Of course, just like everything else, you come out over budget and then we try to go very humble, very slow with the situation right now and my biggest concern is I’d like to have my basic worker the people, who work in the restaurants for decades, I’d like to have them not worry about their daily living,” said Chin.
In addition to sprucing up the new restaurant, he wants to pay his former six employees for the months of work they are missing out on.
It is in part why a GoFundMe page has been set up.
“I think the future is bright," said Chin. "I do believe we will have a hard time going through this pandemic situation, but just like the weather, the crowd comes the crowd gone. The rain comes the rain gone. Saturday, it’s on our way.”