Breaking News
More () »

Lunar New Year comes at a time of fear for many Asian Americans

A website that tracks harassment, discrimination and violent attacks against Asian Americans has received over 2,500 reports since March.

CLEVELAND — Friday starts the Lunar New Year, one of the most significant holidays in China.

But the celebration is coming at a time of fear for Asians and Asian Americans.

After several violent attacks in California, activists around the country warn that racist rhetoric about the coronavirus may be fueling a rise in hate incidents.

A website that tracks harassment, discrimination and violent attacks against Asian Americans has received over 2,500 reports since March.

Cleveland activists tell us it's happening here too.

“Cleveland is not immune to these incidents. It's happening all over the place,” Tessa Xuan, Chair of the Ohio Progressive Asian Women's Leadership (OPAWL), said.

Credit: Stop AAPI Hate
Stop AAPI Hate

Xuan is part of a grassroots community that organizes Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for social justice.

“I think a lot of the rhetoric and the stereotypes that have emerged over the past year are just repeating history,” Xuan said. “There's been people spit on in public, lots of verbal harassment, discrimination, children being discriminated against in school settings.”

She says racism toward Asian Americans isn't new – but rhetoric blaming China for the pandemic, has only made things worse. That's something Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones also acknowledges.

“The community in it of itself is being hurt right now because of political conversations that stated that the coronavirus is from a particular country,” Jones said. “When you look at the rhetoric that the past president spoke and many people who embrace that, not only are businesses being hurt but violence towards this community.”

That's why he recently put forward a resolution condemning racism toward Asian American Pacific Islanders.

The resolution says, in part:

  1. Condemn all manner of racism, xenophobia, hate speech, intolerance, and discrimination in the City of Cleveland, against Asians and Asian American Pacific Islanders. Council condemns all acts of racism and intolerance against anyone in America, and in this time, particularly denounces racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against AAPI communities.
  2. Commit to regular outreach, virtual town halls, and consultation with AAPI community organizations and leaders to engage in authentic relationships with impacted communities
  3. Call upon the Ohio Department of Health and local public health departments to incorporate anti-racism messaging in its public education and digital messaging.
  4. Commit to bystander intervention practices and upstander training within departments and call upon local departments to undergo this training to protect neighbors and communities against hate speech and hate crimes.
  5. Continuing Res. No. 296-2020 declaring racism as a public health crisis

“I want my brothers and sisters in the Asian community to know that they are not alone and that we stand with them,” said Councilman Jones.

While recent incidents may cast a shadow on the celebratory mood leading up to Lunar New Year, Cleveland restaurants like Emperor’s Palace want Clevelanders to know they're open for business.

Credit: WKYC
Emperor's Palace in Cleveland's AsiaTown

Cleveland's AsiaTown also released an updated list (posted below) of restaurants that remain open for takeout and delivery.


2999 Payne Avenue | (216) 282-3834 | Open Wednesday to Monday 12 PM – 5 PM | Takeout only

  • Hong Kong milk tea (strong black tea with condensed milk)
  • Sweet: HK style waffle (condensed milk and peanut butter)
  • Savory: Say cheese and bacon waffle


3922 St. Clair Avenue | (216) 391-3113 | Open daily 10 AM – 8 PM | Takeout and indoor dining; online ordering at boloongtogo.com

  • Vietnamese style pork chops, beef chow fun, braised tofu with mushrooms and pea pods


2136 Rockwell Avenue | (216) 861-9999 | Open daily 11 AM – 9 PM | Takeout only

  • dim sum: pineapple buns, sao mai, turnip cake, shrimp dumplings, sesame ball, egg tart
  • string beans, black pepper beef short ribs, roasted duck, deep fried oysters
  • V: vegetable ho fun


3710 Payne Avenue | (216) 862-8090 | Open Wednesday to Monday 12 – 7 PM | Takeout and delivery only

  • Pumpkin pancakes with red bean paste, crispy chicken cutlet, rice noodle soup with braised pork or beef
  • V: Coconut red curry noodle soup, spicy lotus root, pumpkin pancakes with red bean paste
  • Drinks (hot or cold!): Mango pomelo grass jelly drink, G9 Brown sugar milk tea


3030 Superior Avenue | (216) 664-1152 | Open Monday to Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM | Takeout and dining in

  • S: seafood pancake (해물전, haemul pajeon), soondubu (순두부찌개, soft tofu soup), stir-fried squid
  • Galbi (갈비 beef short ribs), galbitang (갈비탕 beef short ribs soup), hoedebap (회덮밥)


3710 Payne Avenue | (216) 769-8745 | Open Thursday to Tuesday, 12 – 7 PM | Takeout only, online ordering

  • stir-fried hot and sour shredded potato (酸辣土豆丝), dry chili chicken (香辣仔鸡), xinjiang style lamb
  • ma la mapotofu, wontons with chili oil, lamb kabobs, lamb fried rice with curry


3710 Payne Avenue | (216) 881-7600 | Open Wednesday to Monday, 9 AM – 7 PM | Takeout and dining in

  • sweets: green tea cake roll, taro cake roll, flan, egg tart, creamy bun
  • savory: red bean bun, BBQ pork bun, chive pork bun
  • drinks: brown sugar bubble milk tea, lychee smoothie with jelly


3700 Superior Avenue | (216) 431-0462 | Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 AM – 9 PM | Takeout, delivery, dining in

  • mandu gui (fried dumplings), galbi (beef short rib steak), tangsuyuk (fried pork)
  • ddukbokki (spicy rice cake), japchae (clear noodles with beef), dak gui (chicken), Korean fried chicken
  • V: bindaeduk (mung bean pancake), jajangmyun (udon noodles)


2999 Payne Avenue | (216) 696-6556 | Open daily 10 AM – 9 PM | Takeout, dining for parties under 10 people

  • house special pan-fried noodles, eggplant with garlic, walnut shrimp
  • dim sum: pineapple buns, bbq pork buns, har gow (shrimp dumplings), pot stickers, lo bak go (turnip cake), ha cheung (shrimp rice noodle rolls), beef short ribs


[Closed for the holiday Feb. 8-11, Re-opens on Feb. 12!]

3142 Superior Avenue | (216) 400-6936 | Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30 AM – 8 PM | Takeout only

  • spicy chaoshou (红油抄手), pan-fried beef daoxiao noodles (干炒牛肉刀削面)
  • V: seaweed salad, cucumber with garlic, Shanghai pan-fried flat noodle


3710 Payne Avenue | (216) 361-2220 | Open Monday to Saturday, 12 PM – 7 PM | Takeout only, delivery on Postmates

  • V: papaya salad, massaman curry, drunken noodles with tofu
  • Thai spring rolls, Khao soi noodles with chicken, pad see-eau


1541 E. 38th Street, 2nd Floor | (216) 432-9200| Open Tuesday to Sunday 12 PM – 8 PM | Takeout and dining in

  • savory sweet short rib (galbi), boneless beef with stir-fry clear noodles, rice cake, beef dumpling soup
  • V/S: kimchi or seafood pancake, kimchi fried rice, kimbap (rice rolls)


3120 Superior Ave | (216) 781-1176 | Open 11 AM – 6:30 PM | Takeout and indoor dining

  • B7 bun dac biet (pork), summer rolls, muc rang muoi (salt baked squid)
  • V: V2 tofu chua ngot (sweet and sour tofu), V3 cha gio chay (spring rolls), V6 mi xao chay (stir-fried egg noodles with vegetables and tofu)
  • S: Com tam tom nuong (broken rice with shrimp)


1541 E. 38th Street, 1st Floor | (216) 273-7093 | Open Wednesday to Monday, 11 AM – 8 PM | Takeout and indoor dining, delivery on Uber Eats and Doordash

  • pho chin (brisket), bun cha gio su on bo da dai han (vermicelli noodles with eggrolls and beef), egg rolls
  • C: pho ga (chicken), spring rolls


3709 Payne Avenue | (216) 465-3561 | Open Wednesday to Monday, 4 PM – 8:30 PM | Open for dining in and takeout

  • Sullung tang 설렁탕 (beef bone broth soup with noodles), thuck mandoo kuk, galbi, soondubu


3951 St. Clair Avenue | (216) 361-2323 | Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 AM – 8 PM | Open for takeout, delivery, and indoor dining

  • Peking duck buns
  • Siam wings, snow pea tips, braised pork belly with taro, fancy tofu
  • S: lobster with ginger and scallion, seafood pan-fried noodle, braised fish with tofu


2162 Rockwell Avenue | (216) 523-1188 / 1388 | Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 AM – 9 PM | Open for takeout, indoor dining

  • C: Sichuan spicy three pepper chicken (三椒鸡) , sauteed string beans with beansprouts (干煸豆角),
  • S: deep-fried shrimp with chili, ma po tofu, sauteed water spinach
  • Spicy thousand layer tripe, chongqing chicken


3030 Superior Avenue | (216) 781-7462 | Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30 AM – 8 PM, Sunday 10:30 AM – 7 PM | Open for takeout and dining in, online ordering on Chow Now


2999 Payne Avenue | (216) 515-1111 | Open daily 11 AM – 9 PM | Takeout and delivery; order online at https://www.szechuancafecleveland.com/

  • Green beans, wontons in chili oil, chili fried fish
  • Kung pao chicken, mapo tofu, savory hot sliced fish


1735 E. 36th Street | (216) 881-9688 | Open daily 11 AM – 8 PM | Takeout and delivery

  • Lamb skewers, spicy wontons, Szechuan dried pepper chicken with peanut, stir-fried lettuce
  • S: Spicy crispy fish fillet, eggplant in black bean sauce, green beans
  • Beef tripe and tendon with chili sauce, cold noodles
  • V: eggplant in spicy garlic sauce, cucumber with chili and vinegar sauce, mapo tofu, fried lotus root


3211 Payne Avenue | (216) 875-7000 | Open Wednesday to Monday, 11 AM – 8 PM | Takeout, delivery on Doordash; online ordering

  • Beijing pork chop, Szechwan chicken with eggplant, tung choy
  • S: salt baked calamari, garlic green beans, jade tofu with fish
  • V: braised tofu with vegetables, garlic snow pea leaves, braised mushroom and bamboo shoots


Before You Leave, Check This Out