A Moving Film About the Downturn in Business for a Popular NYC Chinese Restaurant Due to COVID-19

“Spicy Village” by Jia Li of HiLo is a moving short film about Spicy Village , a popular Chinese restaurant in New York City that has suffered a severe downturn in business due to the physical, societal and psychological consequences of COVID-19.

For Chinatown restaurants like Wendy’s, the impact of Covid-19 will soon become too much to bear. Business took a spike in February 2020—and not just because of a lack of foot traffic. Racism and xenophobia have threatened these places’ survival, too, with anti-Asian sentiment on the rise.

Wendy Li, the owner of Spicy Village, who was taking time off due to Chinese New Year, was very forthcoming about how the restaurant became a cult favorite, remembering the articles written about the restaurant and the constant lines out the door. After a year of the pandemic, Li is concerned that if the crowds don’t return, her restaurant might have to close.

The restaurant’s owner, Wendy Li, runs the cult favorite with her husband and two children; they’ve earned accolades from the likes of celebrity chefs, the Village Voice, and the Michelin Guide. Before the pandemic, the line went out the door virtually every night. … Spicy Village’s future is under threat. They desperately need a show of support from New York’s noodle-lovers.

In addition to the film, Jia Li is raising money through GoFundMe in order to keep the doors of Spicy Village open.

This fundraiser is for Spicy Village’s future success, to weather through this pandemic, and to ensure that Chinatown can continue through community support.

via Vimeo Staff Picks

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.