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Chinatown may be losing the iconic Hop Louie

Chinatown may be losing the iconic Hop Louie
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Kmak/Flickr/CC

Chinatown in Downtown LA has been changing rapidly in recent years. From the arrival of hipper dining and shopping destinations bringing in a new crowd to the spread of the belief that going out for Chinese food requires a trip to the San Gabriel Valley, some old school Chinatown businesses are finding themselves struggling to attract patrons. Now, Hop Louie, one of the most iconic of that old guard may be shutting down.

The pagoda-shaped Hop Louie, decked out in old-fashioned neon and paper lanterns, has been serving Chinese-American fare since opening on the Chinatown Central Plaza back in 1941 and has appeared as a set for generations of Hollywood movies (among them, Lethal Weapon 4, I Love You Man and Mystery Men). Now, as LAist reports, a sign has been spotted saying the dining room will be closing at the end of August. That means you have only a few days left to snag the famous crab rangoon or other specials for which they’ve become known over the years.

Hop Louie staff has apparently confirmed the closure, but there is little else in the way of details about the shutter. The establishment’s bar will remain open for the time being, continuing to sling cheap, stiff drinks in retro dive-bar style, though it’s not known how long that will last. Also not known is what, if anything, might move in to occupy the dining space, though we’re sure some enterprising young chefs are probably sharpening their knives right now, hoping to get in on a space with such character and history and make it over into something for the new Chinatown generation.   

 

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