“Twenty years ago, people were leaving the area, and there was a Marshalls and a police supply store. Today, there are 25 businesses there, all Asian, some Vietnamese. The amount of people going there has tripled in the past year,” mostly due to the restaurant and supermarket patrons, Shea said.
On a recent Sunday, the China Pearl restaurant was packed with customers, most of them Asian, enjoying brunch.
Brian Moy, co-owner of China Pearl, said he is feeling the effects of the slow economy more keenly this year. The restaurant, one of three he co-owns and manages, held its own in sales until this year, when his Asian customer base started to cut back on eating out during the week. Weekends are still very busy, he said.
“Most businesses were hit over the past four to five years,” Moy said. “We haven’t started feeling it until this year.”
Many Asians will go through their savings before relying on credit, and this year many more families have hit the bottom of their cash stock, Moy said.
“We come from a save first mentality,” he said. “We have to save and stockpile.”
Sarah Coffey can be reached at srmcoffey@ yahoo.com.