Oh no… did Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle REALLY close for good?
Yelpers have reported that famous noodle joint Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle has closed. Please, say it isn’t so.
The brusque, hole-in-the-wall Chinese noodle and dumpling house in Chinatown apparently closed shops on July 31, 2017 due to their current lease being up. Clearly, Lam Zhou and the landlord couldn’t agree on the terms for a new lease.
After seeing the shocking news, finding no confirmations online, and the fact that the place wasn’t easy to find when it was open (the storefront was small, had no signage and an awning completely in Chinese), I had to go see for myself that Lam Zhou had truly closed their doors.
So today around noon, I jumped on my bike and headed toward Chinatown. As I rolled up, it was difficult to tell whether I was in the right spot. Even though I’ve been to the location more than 50 times, without the usual sandwich board and the ability to see the bustling inside, there really isn’t any other discernible markers. That inability to immediately recognize Lam Zhou because their rolling gate was up during normal operating hours (11AM – 11PM) all but confirmed the bad news — Lam Zhou no longer exists on 144 East Broadway.
Update 08/14/2017 from Eater NY:
Wilson Tang, who co-owns Fung Tu and owns Nom Wah, said he didn’t believe the news when he heard it. He walked over to verify and when he saw the closed gate, he asked the owner of a nearby kitchen supply store what happened. “He … said that [the owner’s] lease was up and he did not want to renew and just packed up and is going back to China,” Tang says. “l walked away with a smile because I actually believed him and the owner quit while he was ahead. That is very satisfying to me.”
Tasty Noodles, Cheap Prices
Yelpers that went by the restaurant around July 31st mentioned that there was a note posted on the front saying that it was a leasing issue, but I wasn’t able to find any online proof of that. There is some good news to be had: if the reports are to believed, Lam Zhou is looking to re-open in a new location.
I hope that’s true. You really can’t find restaurants like this in Manhattan anymore — flavorful, quality food at a very low price point that shocked you everytime you went to pay the bill. For less than $10, you could get a dry noodle with minced pork and 8 of their perfect dumplings. Unless you were starving; that’s usually enough to feed two people. This comes after Prosperity Dumpling, another well-known LES/Chinatown hole-in-the-wall serving cheap & tasty, closed in 2015.
Eater New York again:
There are rumors that the team is looking for a new space, which we all want to believe. And even if the original owners don’t, Tang says he can envision a Lam Zhao II, launched by “another food entrepreneur, who sees an opportunity.” It’s hard to imagine it would be the same.
If Lam Zhou has truly closed and doesn’t find another location, this one will hurt big time. Lam Zhou was as famous for their handmade noodles as their laughably low prices. It truly was one of the unique restaurants in Manhattan and one my five favorite places to eat in New York City.
Hope to see you soon, Lam Zhou. P.S. We’re willing to pay a couple dollars more.
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Eater has reported that Lam Zhao has found a new space and will be reopening at 40 Bowery St. near Canal St. The new storefront will open in October, exact date TBD, according to a sign posted outside it’s window. The handwritten sign (in both English and Chinese) says “We move from 144 East Broadway. Lam Zhou Homemade Noodle & Dumpling. We’ll open on October!”