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Boystown Chinese Restaurant Owner: We Didn't Close Because of Racist Name

Chop Chop Chinaman closed last week, but owner hopes the shutter's only temporary.

Chop Chop Chinaman
Chop Chop Chinaman
Ashok Selvam
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The owner of Chop Chop Chinaman doesn't blame his restaurant's racist name for its closure last week, though it appears the spot's on the chopping block. Owner Larry Lee told the Tribune the controversial name — which also resulted in the arrest of a woman — did not affect business. Though patronage never declined, there just weren't enough customers to begin with, Lee claimed.

Lee hopes the closure is temporary. The Boystown restaurant reached infamy for its logo and name. The slur and imgery have a racist history used to defame those of Southeast Asian descent. Lee, who is of Chinese descent, had repeatedly defended the name choosing to ignore that historyDNAinfo first reported the closure.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Harrell waits. If readers remember, back in March, Harrell (who is of Japanese descent) marked the restaurant's window in lipstick writing that she didn't care for the racist name and even threw in some obscenities. Lee used video footage to have cops track her down and filed criminal charges against her for defacing his restaurant. Harrell's attorney, Mark Javier, told Eater Chicago that his client will be in court on Tuesday for a status hearing, "regardless of the status or state of the restaurant." A misdemeanor conviction could cost Harrell $2,500 and one year in jail.

Chop Chop Chinaman

3343 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 281-9090