It’s a pandemic miracle! Passersby on Manhattan Avenue this week breathed a sigh of relief seeing the signage at the former home of fast-casual chain, Xi’an Famous Foods: A banner indicating that the shuttered restaurant will return to its former location at 648 Manhattan Ave. “Don’t call it a comeback,” a note on the NYC chain’s website states in regards to the planned Greenpoint reopening.

Xi’an Famous Foods, which serves Western Chinese hand pulled noodles and dumplings, closed its Greenpoint outpost in early June, citing COVID-19 related financial losses. At the time, the closure was deemed permanent, by founder and CEO Jason Wang, who released a statement urging supporters to support New York State Bill S8125A, to cancel rent for small businesses. The bill has yet to pass, and this year, Xi’an Famous Foods closed several more of its restaurants, gradually reopening in Downtown Brooklyn, Flushing, Woodside and five more Manhattan locations.

Spicy & Sour lamb dumplings from Xi’An Famous Foods

“We are hoping to reopen very soon, but aren’t sure when yet,” Wang told Greenpointers. “We need to re-install back our equipment, upgrade some items, as well as install the proper measures to ensure social distancing inside the stores. We do have a backyard that some folks already know about that we hope to improve to provide safe dining space during COVID times!” A great relationship with the landlord and a crisis-era agreement allowed Xi’an Famous Foods to return to the neighborhood, where takeout and perhaps indoor dining, once safety measures are in place, will be available.

In order to best serve the public and protect employees, Xi’an Famous Foods also launched meal kits this summer, offering pre-packaged ingredients to be shipped or delivered to customers eager to recreate favorite Xi’an dishes like hot oil seared hand ripped noodles. The Xi’an Famous Foods Cookbook also debuted this October, for home cooks eager to try their hand at the beloved menu from scratch.

But for those of us who want our noodles quick and easy, Xi’an Famous Foods will serve the community once again, with the same menu offered at all of their New York locations, available for takeout. Suddenly being shut in all winter doesn’t seem as dire, when hot, spicy noodles are back in the neighborhood.

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