Little Saigon, Seattle’s social, cultural, and economic hub for Vietnamese and Southeast Asian communities, is likely to lose two popular restaurants in the district because of safety concerns. According to a Seattle Times article, Hue Ky Mi Gia and Seven Stars Pepper Szechwan Restaurant owners say the area around their businesses has begun to feel unsafe.
In addition to a shooting last month, recent vandalism, including a string of broken storefront windows, has made Michael Creel and his wife, Yong Tong Wang, the owners of Seven Stars, feel like their building is an eyesore.
The Times article quoted Creel as saying they would likely close by the end of the year, saying, “I can’t see things turning around in a building that’s essentially a slum.”
Burglaries and aggravated assaults have been on the rise in the district as well. Sgt. Dave Hoag of King County’s Metro Police described the area as “an open-air drug use” area and a hub of illegal vendors hawking stolen goods such as liquor, electronic gear, and clothes.
Friends of Little Saigon, a group of business and community leaders and advocates for the neighborhood, describe the corner as a “huge crime spot.” The executive director of the nonprofit, Quynh Pham, said that illegal activities and loitering have been prevalent throughout the district. “We are losing our neighborhood.”
Pham said her group had reached out for assistance in the past, but no plans to clean up the area have been put into place.
For the full article and information on other businesses planning closures, read the full Seattle Times article here.