Local Government

Philly Chinese Restaurants Looking to Get Late Night Curfew Lifted

2005 ordinance led to creation of the Chinese restaurant association.


Ed Krayewski

The Greater Philadelphia Chinese Restaurant Association is looking to get a 2005 ordinance requiring commercial establishments in residential areas to close by 11 p.m. repealed, as Philly.com reports. The association was formed after the ordinance was first passed. The ordinance called businesses like take-out spots, Stop'n'Gos, and convenience stores "nuisance retail shops" that had "become a haven for drug activity, crime and underage drinking," a common refrain in some cities. Community leaders in Camden pushed for a curfew in 2011, saying patrons at take-out spots were "more interested in buying drugs than Chinese food or fried chicken," as Philly.com reported at the time. My favorite pizzeria growing up in Newark was targeted by local community leaders for being an alleged drug hotspot. It eventually co-located with a liquor store and then finally shut down.

As for crime, Philadelphia homicides hit a nationwide high in 2011 but has been down recently. Most tellingly, the ordinance that forced businesses to shut down at 11 p.m. didn't offer any specific data about crimes occurring near such establishments, even though such data likely existed. One restaurant owner Philly.com talked to, however, said his busiest hours were between midnight and 2 a.m. Now after 24 years he is looking to sell his business but no one is looking to buy.

Elsewhere in Philadelphia, the Office of Property Assessment appears to be reneging on tax abatements that have attracted new homeowners, specifically targeting those that appear to live in "wealthy" neighborhoods, as one such homeowner wrote at Philly.com.