Portland Chinatown restaurant House of Louie has closed.
From OregonLive.com, the last dim sum restaurant in the old Chinatown district has closed. When House of Louie opened 30 years ago, the 200 seat restaurant catered to what most American’s thought a Chinese restaurant should look like. When I started this website in 2004, there were a number of Chinese restaurants in the area though none of them were very good compared to today’s standards. Over the years, Chinatown devolved into a seedy homeless area, and despite the opening of the Lan Su Chinese Garden in 2004, and a failed effort by the City of Portland to revitalize the area, it continued to go downhill. As recently as 2010, the New York Times ran an article about an upcoming “transformation” –
The Resource Access Center, a $47 million complex that will provide affordable housing and a shelter and services for homeless people, is the focal point of a 10-year plan to end homelessness here. The eight-story, 106,000-square-foot center, which will open next year, is expected to help catalyze development in the north end of Old Town/Chinatown, a neglected area that supporters say is poised for significant growth.
“The R.A.C. will be at an intersection of our education system, transportation system and economic development laboratory,” said Nick Fish, a city commissioner who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau, which works on behalf of low-income residents. “It will be a showcase for the city.”
Based on a recent walk I took through the area, so far development has been a failure. About 7 years ago I had a terrible lunch at House of Louie and I’m surprised it lasted this long. In March of 2017, the restaurant was voluntarily closed for a time by the owners after a litany of citations from the county for health violations, including items such as “Live and dead cockroaches (50-60) under dishwasher”, and “Swarms of flies throughout kitchen.” Their license expired on 12/31, so it seems the closure was planned.