Mandy Zhang and her father opened 88 Lan Zhou back in 2007. Their hand-pulled noodle dishes, dumplings, and deli containers full of chili oil, all made in-house, always delicious and affordable, made them a famous and much beloved fixture of Chinatown. As New York City started to reopen after PAUSE, they quickly pivoted to selling frozen dumplings, but unfortunately, due to a lack of labor and sluggish revenue, they have decided to close their business on October 31st, 2020.
Welcome to Chinatown was planning to partner with 88 Lan Zhou on merchandise for a later launch as part of Pearl River Mart’s Chinatown collection, but the news of their impending closure expedited its release. 88 Lan Zhou needs your support now.
The front of the tee shirt features a playful reimagining of their logo, showcasing their dumplings - the dish they became known for during COVID and a lifeline for many. The illustration of the storefront on the back is in a looser, impressionistic style. Even if the memories of the storefront itself become hazy, the hard work and love that went into their handmade dishes will not be forgotten.
The dumplings on the tote bag are drawn on a tray, reflecting that 88 Lan Zhou’s dumplings are always made on site. The little chili marks are a playful nod to the “spicy” markings on paper menus from many Chinese American restaurants.
Despite 88 Lan Zhou closing, we will always remember them. You can support them as they deal with closing expenses by purchasing some merch where profits from sales go back to 88 Lan Zhou, or stopping by their storefront at 40 Bowery to purchase some dumplings (and chili oil to go with it!) before they close on October 31st.