London's Chinatown welcomes alfresco diners

A new campaign to support operators and customers has been launched in London’s Chinatown, which has seen an extra 150 covers created with new outdoor seating in Newport Place, as well as personalised lanterns and sustainable takeaway packaging.

#LoveChinatown aims to safely welcome back people to the area, which invites alfresco diners between 12-8pm each day; the benches have been decorated by paper-cutting artist, Samantha Quinn, featuring a koi carp and lotus flower design.

Later this month, participating restaurants will be offering an eco-friendly and biodegradable #LoveChinatown ‘Take-Put’ box on selected dishes for a limited time; the new container folds out into a makeshift plate to allow flexibility when dining.

A digital screen 13 Newport Place provides a place where visitors can share messages and support their favourite Chinatown London restaurant each week.

“Chinatown London is very much about community, we have a very large Chinese student customer base, many haven’t been able to get back to Asia and they see us as a home away from home,” says Martin Ma, general manager of JinLi.

“Throughout the lockdown our takeaway business has grown and we’ve reached many new customers.

“But having reopened our business, the extra covers Shaftesbury has provided with this outdoor space will enable us to facilitate a safe place for our customers to meet and have some culinary home comforts.”

To ensure the safety of visitors, workers and residents, Shaftesbury is encouraging visitors to adopt social distancing measures – floor markings have been installed in both Mandarin and English, and hand sanitisation points have been installed throughout Chinatown London.

“London is resilient and throughout the pandemic our restaurateurs have been adapting, from providing more deliveries, developing meal kits, expanding their apps and honing menus to ensure less waste and more sustainability,” comments Karen Baines, head of group marketing and communications at Shaftesbury.

“We want to reflect this resilience; these new initiatives complement our move to an omnichannel Chinatown keeping people connected whether digitally or physically.

“We hope to safely welcome many more people back soon.”