Mission Chinese Calls it Quits on East Broadway

Mission Chinese Food, 171 East Broadway.
Mission Chinese Food, 171 East Broadway.
Mission Chinese Food, 171 East Broadway.

The popular restaurant Mission Chinese Food has announced they will close their East Broadway location at the end of September. In a note on their Instagram feed, they posted:

During this pandemic, restaurants have experienced challenges unlike any other industry. We have had to fight to save our businesses and jobs while making the case for our very existence. We all desperately want restaurants to open—to really open—but we cannot insist on this out of obligation, without regard to the health of our customers and our employees. The past few months have made it clear that we need to change what we do – as a business, as a citizen, as a nation.

We faced the difficult decision as a business to battle through adversity in hopes of outside support we know may not come, or to create a business model that forges a new path for survival on our terms. We at Mission are choosing the new path.

As part of this difficult decision, we will be closing Mission’s East Broadway location at the end of September. Our Brooklyn outpost will continue to operate and the same food you love will be offered by Mission, as our focus shifts to take out, pre-packaged meals and new models of distribution.

We want to thank all of our employees, past and present, for the hard work and dedication they have put into creating the unforgettable experience that is Mission. Our current team has done an admiral job of operating during these unprecedented times.

Mission Manhattan was envisioned as a place for celebratory meals and grand occasions. Though social gatherings of this magnitude can’t happen in our dining room right now, we hope you join us for take out in the next couple of weeks as we celebrate the future evolution of Mission and the end of this physical location. Your continued support means the world to us. Thank you.

Danny Bowien and the team at Mission

Chef and food world darling Danny Bowien brought his restaurant to Orchard Street in 2012, after becoming a hot spot on the West Coast, where it was established in the San Francisco Mission district. It was an instant hit here, with hip crowds content to wait for up to 3 hours for the infamous, face-numbingly hot “Mission XXX Wings,” while they enjoyed free beer from a keg out front and the “Twin Peaksy bathroom” inside.  The restaurant relocated to 171 East Broadway in 2014, after being forced to close a year earlier at its original Orchard Street location due to vermin and a dispute with his landlord.

As Eater pointed out in its recent story about the restaurant closing, Mission Chinese has had its share of controversy:

Over the last three years, the restaurant helmed by Bowien has contended with allegations of racial discrimination against its managers. In February 2017, four former employees sued the restaurant, alleging that black staffers were treated badly and that management retaliated against employees who spoke up about discriminatory behavior and poor working conditions. The suit was ultimately settled, but its fallout could still be felt at the restaurant as recently as this summer.

As for now, Bowien has said the plan is to keep the Bushwick location open. You can find our previous coverage of the Mission Chinese triumphs and travails here.