Cathay Palisades is a Chinese restaurant beloved by the Pacific Palisades and westside communities since 1989. In spite of 32 years of a perfect tenant record, the restaurant’s landlord has refused to renew the lease, aiming to “upscale” the building and saying the restaurant will no longer fit the "tenant mix”. I've been a customer of Cathay Palisades for several years, and I know many in the community share sorrow and frustration that such a wonderful neighborhood restaurant is being forced to close. The goal of this fundraiser is to assist owner David Leung and his employees during this difficult and unexpected life transition by enabling them to pay their bills while seeking new jobs to support themselves and their families.
Many of us will miss the food, comfort, and friendly, familiar relationships we’ve had with David and his staff. When we see their smiling faces and chat with them over family meals, we may not realize they’ve arrived to serve us after long commutes and with families of their own at home.
David has lost his income source and business, and his plans to work for a few more years then sell the business to provide retirement funds are now gone. He has learned that the sale of his restaurant equipment will amount to only $3,000. He is planning on down-sizing his life (hence, the difficult decision to sell his family’s Chinese antiques). Sally, who has been serving us meals for over ten years, was thrilled to be able to buy a house. When Covid hit, the restaurant had to close and lay her off for months. Her mortgage payments became an issue, and in two weeks she will have no job. Gilbert lives in Chinatown and has been making the 40-mile round trip to and from the restaurant for a decade. Cam has been the head chef for eight years and supports his family, including two children, one who is a student at UC Santa Barbara. Losing his steady position with a child in college poses major problems for Cam and his family. Kitchen assistant Antonio has been able to help his family in El Salvador thanks to the six years of steady work he’s had at Cathay Palisades. Manager Lisa and two cooks are also seriously affected by the closing of the restaurant. All are seeking new jobs, but until they find employment, they can use the help of our community, which has enjoyed many years of good food, convenience and service. The goodwill that David and his employees have accumulated over 32 years is greatly valued and appreciated, but unfortunately it cannot help pay their bills or support their families while they look for work.
David and his seven employees -- servers Sally and Gilbert, manager Lisa, head chef Cam, kitchen assistant Antonio and two cooks -- will share the proceeds of this fundraiser, which David will distribute. The goal is to help David pay utility, vendor and incoming bills and to provide a month's worth of lost wages, tips and revenue to David and his employees. This total is approximately $32,000.
They would like to thank the community for its support and past efforts in finding a new location, and though no suitable lease was found, David and his employees wish to thank their customers and supporters for so many good years.
Thank you very much!