Our final day will be Friday, July 3rd.
We want to thank all our many customers throughout the 9 years we have been open, both on Division and in Chinatown. We especially want to thank those who embraced our attempt to bring a little bit of Mexico City’s food culture to Portland.
The restaurant business has been hit especially hard by this pandemic, as everyone knows. We rely on office workers, tourists, concert goers, and the like in Chinatown. We don’t expect any of those customers to return until this pandemic is over.
We have lost money every day we have remained open and only did so because our staff is like family to us and we didn’t want to let them down. But it would be worse to remain open and then be unable to pay them for their work. Every employee will be paid in full plus a little extra. We are also working to find all of our staff new jobs.
If you would like to help, however, we do have a GoFundMe for our staff that is not eligible for unemployment and what has been given already has literally kept them and their families from going hungry.
Also, Janet, who we have been paying to stay home with her ill husband through the pandemic, just had the memorial after his death last week. If you’d like to help her directly, we set up a GoFundMe for Janet as well.
One final, somewhat political note:
The future of small business is in crisis and our leaders at the national, state, and local levels remain ignorant or just don’t give a damn. Republicans worry only about the stock market. Democrats worry only about unemployment.
Left out is the person who put a second mortgage on their home to chase a dream or who saved 10 years to be their own boss so that hopefully their kids could be the first in their family to go to college. 30% of entrepreneurs in the US are immigrants. 50% of Americans work for a small business.
The failed small businesses and the bankruptcies to come from this pandemic will result in a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to large corporations over the next few years as those with billions in the bank or the ability to sell stock on Wall Street bide their time during this disaster, gobbling up market share and prime real estate.
Downtown Portland, and especially Old Town and Chinatown, is being decimated by the pandemic and the City of Portland has done nothing substantial to help keep small businesses alive.
Prosper Portland has $52 million set aside for Old Town/Chinatown development but is unwilling to use any to save the businesses that have already invested in the neighborhood. Instead, the agency has been giving incentives for some businesses to move out of the neighborhood and then tossing scraps to select businesses around the city so that the agency can garner some headlines claiming that it is helping marginalized communities during the pandemic while in truth only 1 in 100 that beg will get help.
Here in Chinatown, nearly every business around us is owned by a person of color or immigrant. Even in downtown Portland, despite the city overall having a very white population, many, if not most, of the small businesses are owned by immigrants and people of color.
How long will Chinatown’s businesses last as homeless tents outnumber tourists and more and more businesses board up? How long will it take to revive Chinatown once it’s dead? All too often this city pretends to care about its businesses, especially those owned by immigrants and people of color, while only making their struggle to survive worse.
Again, we thank our customers for their years of loyalty. We hope that we’ve given you some good meals and strong margaritas that made for fond memories. We hope that when this is all over and you walk by you think, man, I miss Mi Mero Mole. We will miss you as well.
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