New ‘Clean’ Chinese Eatery in Greenwich Village Sparks Outrage

Sydney Pereira, Patch, April 9, 2019

A new Chinese restaurant opened by a white couple in Greenwich Village is marketing itself as a “clean” alternative to other Chinese restaurants — immediately sparking outrage and criticism that the eatery’s positioning is racist.

Lucky Lee’s {snip} was marketed as a “healthy” alternative to other Chinese restaurants.

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The restaurant’s owner, Arielle Haspel {snip} wants to “healthify” Chinese food.

“We’re excited to offer it to people who want this type of food, and it can make them feel good and they can workout after and they can feel focused after and it will add to their health,” Haspel told Eater.

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One Twitter user wrote, “I CANNOT with Lucky Lee’s, this new ‘clean Chinese restaurant’ that some white wellness blogger just opened in New York. … You want to open a gluten-free, dairy-free macrobiotic whatever Chinese restaurant, godspeed. Do it without dragging an entire, diverse cuisine representing billions of people.”

Another person commented on an Instagram post, “We’re not being *sensitive* when it comes to people generalizing our culture … [it is our] history, ancestry, way of life, language, and food. It’s wildly disrespectful to not even consider or realize what you are doing.”

The restaurant responded to the backlash Tuesday afternoon on Instagram.

{snip} Lucky Lee’s wrote on Instagram. “Every restaurant has the right to tout the positives of its food. We plan to continue communicating that our food is made with high quality ingredients and techniques that are intended to make you feel great.”

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In response to criticism on the restaurant’s name, the restaurant’s statement said her husband’s name is Lee. The couple are Jewish-American New Yorkers, the Instagram post said.

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Lucky Lee’s owner, Haspel, was not immediately available for comment.

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