Chinatown Fair Arcade in Danger of Eviction
During pandemic times, sharing buttons on game cabinets and sweating over dance games poses a difficult challenge for the remaining brick-and-mortar arcades. Especially the Chinatown Fair Arcade down on Mott Street.
No stranger to survival – the 77-year-old arcade had shut for over a year before its revival in 2012 – Chinatown Fair now faces termination at the hand of coronavirus. All while trying to negotiate a lease renewal.
“When we closed on March 10, due to COVID-19, our negotiations for our new lease renewal were basically cut off,” manager Lonnie Sobel said in an update to fans. “Due to complications stemming from the COVID-19 shutdowns, CTF is in danger of having its doors closed permanently very soon.”
To that end, the business, founded on Mott Street in 1943, took to GoFundMe last month to kickstart a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for six months of back rent totaling $57,000. About $17,000 has been raised in the last three weeks. A testament to the fan base of this Chinatown classic.
“Our customers have become close family over the years, and we have never realized this more since we have been closed,” Sobel noted.