Business slows at Monterey Park restaurants after mass shooting

Mandarin Noodle House has many fan-favorite dishes that the owner serves up as he prepares for the Lunar New Year crowds in Monterey Park.

Like many other restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, Denny Mu is stocking his kitchen for the post-Christmas season, typically the most profitable time of year for many businesses in the area. However, everything came to a screeching halt after Saturday night’s mass shooting.

“I canceled two parties of 12 that morning,” Mu said. “I canceled another party of 10.”

Mu said there have been a lot of empty seats at his restaurant over the past week, but he said he was determined to stick with it — and he was encouraged to see customers come back today.

“Seeing our customers dine with us and fill their bodies with food for the soul is a reward in itself,” says Mu.

After a gloomy and slow week, several small business owners in Monterey Park told us they hoped the community would come out and support them this weekend, including the owner of the “Mr. Obanyaki” dessert shop.

“We specialize in Japanese fusion dishes called ‘obanyakis,'” says owner Kevin Mok. “First, we put the batter on it and cook it for about 10 minutes.”

Mok says he overstocks to ensure his shop has enough obanyakis for the late-night crowd.

“We thought Chinese New Year would be happy, happy. But now, everyone — the streets are empty at 5, 6,” Mok said.

He didn’t see the crowds he expected, but remains optimistic that his community won’t live in fear and continue to help small businesses like his.

“Everyone, I wish you a happy year,” Mo said. “New week, I hope everyone has new wealth.”

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