Chinatown celebrates new, historic businesses as it nears 80th anniversary

CHINATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As Chinatown gears up to celebrate its 80th anniversary, it is celebrating new and old businesses.

Chinatown Business Improvement District Executive Director George Yu has been working in the area since the 70s.

"We need a balance of new and old merchants," said Yu, who added that change is overdue and needed.

There are several new eateries generating traffic, like the Highland Park Brewery.

"We opened our doors about two months ago, and it was mind-blowing. Like, instantly, day one -- it was packed," said owner Bob Kunz.

Yu said it's important to preserve the community's history as it welcomes new businesses. For example, the Phoenix Bakery, a decades-old staple.

"(It) started in 1938. This is actually our third location within Chinatown. It was started by my parents," said Ken Chan, adding that the recent changes have been positive.

"Chinatown is actually being reborn again, and there's a new group of residents moving in," said Chan.

He said he feels fortunate they own the land, allowing Phoenix Bakery to remain a fixture in Los Angeles.

Along with old fixtures, more new businesses are expected to open up later this year, including a winery by Angeleno Wine Company.

"It's a small winery, an actual working, producing winery, with a small tasting room in a very old building," Yu said. "It's exactly the kind of setting that Angelenos will love."
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