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Food & Drink

Dragon Wok, the Chinese Restaurant at 38th & Chicago, Will Close (for Now)

The Black-owned restaurant is taking a break.

8:56 AM CST on November 18, 2021

Em Cassel

After five years at 38th and Nicollet, Dragon Wok moved to 38th and Chicago in early 2020.

Ashley West, who co-owns Dragon Wok with her husband Rashad West, told the Southwest Journal at the time that it was a "unique transition" for a neighborhood restaurant to move less than a mile down 38th. But the relocation would more than triple their space, letting them seat up to 40 people, expand their menu, and eventually host events. The phones were up and running for their old customers; they were planning a grand opening to welcome in new ones.

The restaurant opened during the first week of March. Two weeks later came the indoor dining ban. And a few months after that, Rashad West became known around the world as "The Man Whose Surveillance Camera Sparked a National Uprising."

Dragon Wok's new location was squarely across the intersection from Cup Foods, where Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and Rashad's security cameras caught the whole thing. Over the year that followed, Dragon Wok kept cooking, handing orders to delivery app drivers who walked past the barricades in George Floyd Square.

"As you know we've been through some unimaginable times at our new location," a Wednesday farewell-for-now post from the restaurant reads. "For the last year and a half, our small team has fought an uphill battle to bring you the best we had to offer. When we took a step back to evaluate our mental and physical health as a family, we realized we are sacrificing too much to continue operating in these conditions."

Dragon Wok will keep their lease at 38th and Chicago and plans to return in a different form, "but we need to take time to take care of ourselves."

Keep an eye on Dragon Wok's social media for updates.

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