After 26 years serving Hell's Kitchen, on January 11, 2018 the Chong family closed the doors and shuttered the gate for the last time at Empire Tailors & Cleaners.
The Chong's didn't want to go. They were forced out - the landlord tripled the rent. It's a shame. And it's shameful. Because we didn't just lose an excellent tailor and dry cleaners. We lost family.
The Chong's are Hell's Kitchen family. They understand a good neighborhood is a community of people committed to it and to one another. And so they were.
The closing of Empire Tailors & Cleaners is one more erosion of Hell's Kitchen. An appetite for profit unchecked by humanitarian concerns destroys all in its path. Gentrification attacks local community, displacing long term residents in favor of transients that may have more short-term cash but will not stay long enough to put down roots. No roots, no investment. No investment, no care. No care, no community. Hell's Kitchen needs residents and businesses that care about community. We need the Chong's.