Reports are coming in from downtown New York City that the famed Chinatown Fair Arcade will be shutting it’s doors in just a few weeks. Known as one of the last bastions of the East Coast fighting game scene – CF has been in business for decades.
However, in the last few hours reports have been coming in from that arcade manager Henry Cen is telling gamers CF has lost it’s lease and will be closing on March 23rd.
Valentino Ventura, who also works at CF, had this to say last night (2/20):
apparently henry has to much time on his hands. its not cool to spread unsubstantial information. folks, its all rumor perpetuated by a hater who wants to see a successful, bustling business fail. the truth is, that cf maybe relocating to williamsburg, brooklyn if disputes with the landlord r not settled. CF IS NOT CLOSING. sam, benny and myself genuinely love our customers (including the smelly ones) and this business. SPREAD THE WORD, FOLKS.
The first reports came in via Twitter. Arturo Sanchez, a CF regular, had this to say:
The Sam he’s talking about is the owner of Chinatown Fair. After seeing this, I reached out to my friend and Editor in Chief of EmpireStateGamer Ashley Faro who is also a regular down at CF. She confirmed this sad news to me via Facebook, Text and Twitter:
The Joe she’s speaking about is LI Joe – the tournament veteran who you may remember previewed Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for RipTen just weeks ago.
Reports are still coming in about a possible move to Brooklyn, the Bronx or possibly other parts of NYC – and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as this story unfolds.
Now, while I’m no competitive fighting gamer, I have spent time down at CF and was there just a few weeks ago for the MvC3 preview I mentioned above. While the CF regulars are clearly hit hardest by this news, I can’t help but be reminded of when CBGB’s closed down back in 2006. As a punk rock drummer, I saw how having a venue like CB’s close down hit the local scene hard. If you ask me, it doesn’t matter if it’s about music, games or even sports – all people want is a place to play.
Hopefully Chinatown Fair can renew their lease or relocate soon.
In the meantime, check out this video where Henry talks about how hard it is to make money running an arcade like CF in today’s economy: