Frank Shyong at LAT:

When my reporting takes me to the San Gabriel Valley, I often stop at Jim’s Bakery for egg tarts, Ba Le for banh mi and Alice’s Kitchen for rice rolls, if my diet can justify it. But they were all closed Tuesday, a common day off for restaurants — especially for mom-and-pop businesses where family members work every shift. A growing number, however, seem to be closed one or more days per week in the immigrant neighborhoods of the San Gabriel Valley, even those that are popular and established.


It’s one possible sign of the challenging economic headwinds ahead for the region. Food costs have not recovered from the pandemic’s supply chain disruptions. California’s new minimum wage requirements, while putting needed money in the hands of wage workers, squeeze small businesses looking to expand their hours. And delivery apps have taken a permanent chunk out of dine-in’s business. Compounding the problem is the growing cost of doing business in brick and mortar businesses. Waldo Yan opened 626 Hospitality, a specialty ice cream shop, in an Arcadia strip mall two weeks ago; he has also decided to close on Tuesdays. It’s hardly a day of rest, however, as he said he spends the time doing paperwork, inventory and other work for the restaurant. “Days off are a distant fantasy at this point,” Yan said. “Weekdays are a huge tossup.”


The San Gabriel Valley’s popularity with Chinese investors, tourists and home buyers has always helped buoy the region against domestic economic shocks. But now a dramatic downturn in the Chinese economy could add to the area’s challenges.