Goodbye and good riddance, Chop Chop Chinaman

Chicago restaurant's racist name sparked a vandalism arrest. Now it is closed.

The Chicago restaurant that made headlines and sparked outrage with its controversial name -- getting one woman arrested for defacing the restaurant's window in protest -- is apparently closed, at least for now.

Chop Chop Chinaman, The Controversial Local Restaurant, Closed For Now

Boystown eatery Chop Chop Chinaman has reportedly been closed for several days, just four months after opening. In addition to using an actual racial slur in its name, the restaurant's logo features an Asian caricature, complete with pointy hat, pulling a rickshaw. This is supposed to be on that ironic racism tip, right?

Owner Larry Lee says he hopes the restaurant's closure will be temporary. I, on the other hand, am I hoping Chop Chop Chinaman's closure will be permanent. Because this shit is racist.

The restaurant made headlines earlier this year when a local woman was arrested for defacing Chop Chop Chinaman's storefront because she too felt the name and logo were racist. In red lipstick, Jeannie Harrell offered her honest critique: "FUCK THIS HATE CRIME SHIT. IT'S 2015."

Harrell, who is Japanese American, took a photo of her handiwork and posted it on social media, which prompted Lee to call the cops on her. She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Coincidentally, she is scheduled to be back in court this week.

[UPDATE: Harrell pleaded guilty Tuesday on charges of misdemeanor criminal damage to property. She was sentenced to one month supervision, meaning if she doesn't get arrested in the next month, the charge may eventually be expunged from her record, and fined $200. My fist is raised for you, Jeannie.]

Lee tells the Chicago Tribune that the restaurant has received hundreds of prank phone calls since the lipstick incident, and Chop Chop Chinaman has gotten battered with negative reviews on Yelp. Lee also claims that he has received several death threats. They say any publicity is good publicity. In this case, maybe not.

But Lee says that Chop Chop Chinaman's closure had less to do with bad publicity over the name, and more to do with the restaurant's business falling short of expectations. He's in the process of looking for an investor.

Good luck with that.

Seriously, man. Who the hell names their restaurant "Chop Chop Chinaman," even ironically? As I said when we first wrote about Jeannie's arrest back in March, it's crappy branding that peddles in cheap stereotypes, and shamelessly perpetuates a racial slur on top of it.

Lee maintained that "Chop Chop Chinaman" is no more offensive than being called an Englishman or Irishman, and wanted the restaurant's food to speak for itself. Well, Larry, in that case, it seems the food has spoken.

More here: Chop Chop Chinaman, restaurant that spurred vandalism case, closes


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