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Chinatown In The East End


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With all the new developments happening in the East End with the new Dynamo Stadium, the East End METRORail line, lots of new townhomes constructed, etc, what is to become of the original Chinatown? Over the years it seems to have become run down. The new Chinatown on the west Beltway is thriving right now, while the old one is decaying. Is there plans to revive the old Chinatown with all the new construction happening in the area or will it be replaced with modern housing and commercial developments?

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With all the new developments happening in the East End with the new Dynamo Stadium, the East End METRORail line, lots of new townhomes constructed, etc, what is to become of the original Chinatown? Over the years it seems to have become run down. The new Chinatown on the west Beltway is thriving right now, while the old one is decaying. Is there plans to revive the old Chinatown with all the new construction happening in the area or will it be replaced with modern housing and commercial developments?

There's been a steady decline in ethnic businesses in that area. New money is dominating the neighborhood.

It's time to remove the freeway signs saying that there is a Chinatown there. I'm sure that it confuses and disappoints a lot of folks who have heard about our thriving Chinatown but don't know where it actually is.

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It confused the hell out of me when I first moved to Houston. I even walked out there from downtown to check it out (since I didn't want to try going out to the suburban Chinatown via public transportation) and I was really disappointed. There is (or used to be) a sign near the GRB with an arrow that pointed to "Chinatown".

I now know that there is one good vietnamese sandwich place in that hood though, but that's about it.

Edited by Jax
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It confused the hell out of me when I first moved to Houston. I even walked out there from downtown to check it out (since I didn't want to try going out to the suburban Chinatown via public transportation) and I was really disappointed. There is (or used to be) a sign near the GRB with an arrow that pointed to "Chinatown".

I now know that there is one good vietnamese sandwich place in that hood though, but that's about it.

Try the chicken curry from that mom and pop eatery in that little mall. The best chinese curry I've ever had. :) I still remember the days when that area was bustling.

Perhaps with all the new houses and influx of people this place can come back to life.

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I now know that there is one good vietnamese sandwich place in that hood though, but that's about it.

I live on St. Emanuel at Clay.

Some restaurants

Banh mi sandwich shops: Hoang Son inside the Kim Hung supermarket is very very good (great chargrilled pork and chicken). Thiem Hung on Pease is also very good (great sandwiches, amazing beef stew).

Chinese

Hung Kee Decent.

Vietnamese

Huynh Very good imo.

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A little more about Kim Hung Market on St. Emanuel, between McKinney and Lamar. This is one of those Asian minimalls thing. When you first walk in, you walk into a sort of mini food court. There are some flags hanging from the ceiling. Straight ahead is Hoang Son, a Vietnamese restaurant with counter service and some tables in front of it. Hoang Son is a true mom-and-pop. Mom does most of the cooking. Pop does some of the cooking, the cleaning, and I'm sure other things. The son takes the orders. The son is fairly Americanized. Very easy to place an order.

To the left is the Asian supermarket. Produce selection is limited, but there are a lot of products normally sold in Asian countries, from noodles (instant and normal) to beers to Almond cookies, green tea ice cream, teas and various chips and etc. Also inside the supermarket there is a booth that sells meat. He has a lot of different things. You can buy a whole roast duck ($12) or even a whole roast pig ($110).

Going back to the food court foyer thing. To the right of the Hoang Son counter, there are some hallways and also a stairway up to some more halls. These halls have various shops and/or offices. A few are vacant. Aside from the Hoang Son, there is also an Arco's Express, that sells tacos and other Mexican food. Other businesses in these hallways include a hair/nail salon, a pool hall, and a bank branch for Southwest Bank. I haven't been upstairs, but I think I saw a law firm and I'm not sure what else up there.

This place kind of surprised me with how much bigger it seemed inside, but you can definitely tell much of the business has moved along to the other Chinatown. Still, its a great neighborhood asset, and I'm happy to have a local grocery store and sandwich shop I can run to in a pinch without having to go to the Kroger on Cullen (kinda run down) or the Randall's in Midtown ($$).

Edited by kylejack
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I would like to see a resurgence of the old Chinatown, but I think with all the new development of the long dormant warehouse district along with gentrification of the near by 3rd Ward encroaching we'll see at most a 10% growth in new Asian business in that area.

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A little more about Kim Hung Market on St. Emanuel, between McKinney and Lamar. This is one of those Asian minimalls thing.

I'm surprised it has lasted this long. It seemed like it was on its last legs about 8 or 9 years ago. This used to be a much more active area, back in the late 80s/early 90s.

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I'm surprised it has lasted this long. It seemed like it was on its last legs about 8 or 9 years ago.

Yeah, me too. Until last year it had very limited hours and was only open about half the week. This was a problem for me, because it was only open when I was at work. At some point last year they expanded the hours until 8 PM on all weekdays, and its now open on Saturday as well (until 5ish I think?). The open til 8 bit is great, because sometimes I come home from work and don't want to cook dinner so I'll just grab a chargrilled pork sandwich ($2.50 apiece) or two and take them home. When I go on a Saturday there's usually a not insignificant number of people eating at Hoang Son, a pretty mixed demographic, so maybe Ballpark Lofts and etc. have helped with business.

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yep, this area is chinatown no more! midtown chinatown is gone too! everything is now at beltway and bellaire. the new expanding areas are west of dairy ashford on bellaire.

yep, this area is chinatown no more! midtown chinatown is gone too! everything is now at beltway and bellaire. the new expanding areas are west of dairy ashford on bellaire.

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yep, this area is chinatown no more! midtown chinatown is gone too! everything is now at beltway and bellaire. the new expanding areas are west of dairy ashford on bellaire.

yep, this area is chinatown no more! midtown chinatown is gone too! everything is now at beltway and bellaire. the new expanding areas are west of dairy ashford on bellaire.

You can say THAT again.

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This thread brings back memories for me.

In the early 80s, my Alief parents would drive the whole family to downtown Chinatown to load up on Asian grocery. Even as a kid, I would find the whole downtown Chinatown a little scary.

I was not sad to see Diho and Dynasty Mall on Bellaire/Corporate moving westward to Alief. Actually, I don't know any of my friends who will even venture to downtown Chinatown anymore. Today it is now geared for non Asians. When the George R Brown Convention center was built, it was supposed to be the savior of downtown Chinatown. Instead, I think it killed it. Parking was hard to find and this monstrous building blocked its building sightline.

Edited by samiamj
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This thread brings back memories for me.

In the early 80s, my Alief parents would drive the whole family to downtown Chinatown to load up on Asian grocery. Even as a kid, I would find the whole downtown Chinatown a little scary.

I was not sad to see Diho and Dynasty Mall on Bellaire/Corporate moving westward to Alief. Actually, I don't know any of my friends who will even venture to downtown Chinatown anymore. Today it is now geared for non Asians. When the George R Brown Convention center was built, it was supposed to be the savior of downtown Chinatown. Instead, I think it killed it. Parking was hard to find and this monstrous building blocked its building sightline.

Not to mention that the GRB footprint blocks several streets leading into Chinatown. Today, with the GRB expansions and new stadia, there are even fewer direct points of access.

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Not to mention that the GRB footprint blocks several streets leading into Chinatown. Today, with the GRB expansions and new stadia, there are even fewer direct points of access.

Let us hope that this can be changed.

Edited by LTAWACS
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Chinatown in downtown will exist in our memories only. It is forever gone from downtown!

This thread brings back memories for me.

In the early 80s, my Alief parents would drive the whole family to downtown Chinatown to load up on Asian grocery. Even as a kid, I would find the whole downtown Chinatown a little scary.

I was not sad to see Diho and Dynasty Mall on Bellaire/Corporate moving westward to Alief. Actually, I don't know any of my friends who will even venture to downtown Chinatown anymore. Today it is now geared for non Asians. When the George R Brown Convention center was built, it was supposed to be the savior of downtown Chinatown. Instead, I think it killed it. Parking was hard to find and this monstrous building blocked its building sightline.

The movie theatre and the small, cramped grocery store were some fond memories...lol

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My memories of the downtown Chinatown are what dissuaded me from looking at property in that area, I just can't get over how scary it was just 10 years ago.

3rd Ward as Chinatown's fabulous neighbor doesn't really help much. UHPD often chases crackheads off of campus into that neighborhood off Scott.

However, the development of that area has been nothing short of amazing. I would imagine rental rates are probably a little higher than what most Asian businesses are willing to pay.

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If you look at East Downtown District's website, it has plans to put Chinese characters on street signs - http://www.eastdowntownhouston.com/ - Even if not too many Chinese businesses are left, the new street signs would be a good memorial of sorts to what was there before

They're wasting money on non sequitor signage, contributing to sign pollution, and apparently have opted to call themselves "EaDo", an unoriginal knockoff name of so many other unoriginal knockoffs.

What's next, are they going to bring in an expensive team of unimaginative landscape architects and get them to draw up what "EaDo" will look like in 30 years provided dictatorship conditions, with plenty of cliched midrises, deep cliched sidewalks run amok by plenty of cliched pedestrians, and endless strips of ridiculously cliched ground-level retail without any aesthetically inconvenient rear loading docks?

I know that it was created by the state legislature, but who is this Management District accountable to? I'm ready to complain now.

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They're wasting money on non sequitor signage, contributing to sign pollution, and apparently have opted to call themselves "EaDo", an unoriginal knockoff name of so many other unoriginal knockoffs.

I know that it was created by the state legislature, but who is this Management District accountable to? I'm ready to complain now.

The good news is that while EaDo is offensively, stupidly, laughably derivative, EaDon't has quite a ring to it.

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It was a God send when they closed The Silver House & Yit Ing Ho. Will never forget the day around 1981 when we (group) were walking into Yit ing and 2 big rats ran right in front of our feet. This was in the day time, noonish. Kind of made you think you were in for a real treat right. :mellow: You seldom saw any kitties around this area either. Just wondered.

Yes, Old Chinatown is another Houston memory indeed. There was an older topic of the area and great links to it's humble beginnings early as the 1940's. Developers will soon mow down any remnants like the old pagoda accented brick buildings. I kind of miss the "Modeling Studio" <_< on St Emanuel, kind of gave the place "tone".

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Dong Kyong Modeling Studio

That name sounds like something out of a SNL or Mad TV skit! :lol:

With my luck, once I exit Wayne Dolcefino & crew will be waiting there with cameras and a mike in my face.

Its a trip when you see the women (or Dragon Lady) go inside the door still wearing Suzy Wong dresses. Kind of cool actually. :lol:

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We had a cop shooting in the Meridian parking lot in November. http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=...&id=6529138

That area was way worse in mid 80's just like that article stated. There were many new arrivals from cities like LA and overseas where the gangs are way more organized than here. Yes, people Asian gangs exist and HPD quickly stomped out the fire before it grew that was then of course. The only somewhat reminder of Old Chintowns glory days is the still very busy Kim Son anchored there at Pierce Elevated. If you really want to see present Asian gang existance you will have to head to the newer Asian areas of ......all together gang...SW Houston. :o:D

and remember, with 6 you get egg roll.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • The title was changed to Chinatown In The East End

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