YOKOHAMA (BLOOMBERG) – Heichinrou, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Japan started 138 years ago, turned the hottest institution to drop target to the coronavirus pandemic, filing for bankruptcy protection on Thursday (June 2).
The restaurant’s key department, an establishment of Yokohama’s renowned Chinatown, began bankruptcy proceedings at the request of collectors with total credit card debt possible exceeding 300 million yen (S$3.17 million), in accordance to analysis organization Teikoku Databank.
Launched in 1884 and catering to foreigners who settled in the port town in the course of the Meiji Restoration, it claimed the title of the oldest existing Chinese cafe in Japan on its web-site.
The multi-storied flagship restaurant, just minutes from the most important gates of Chinatown and well known for its authentic Cantonese delicacies, was a major draw to travellers from all about Japan and overseas alike.
Having and drinking institutions have been strike significantly challenging by the pandemic due to federal government calls to shorten opening hours, contributing to 536 failures in the marketplace, or about 15 per cent of the 3,468 bankruptcies nationwide tracked by Teikoku Databank.
Heichinrou’s other branches in Tokyo, Osaka and Kitakyushu are operated by a independent firm and will continue being open.
The restaurant’s product sales achieved 10.8 billion yen in the 12 months through March 2007, but fell to 6.5 billion yen in the calendar year finished March 2016 as higher overhead expenditures and the financial downturn took a toll, stated Teikoku Databank.
The decrease in small business from the coronavirus dealt the final blow, and the main department shut on Could 15.