Saturday, April 11, 2009

"only the Crowd is Chinese"

This article came out only five days after I was born. Lonnie's had already become a mainstay in Chinatown and it was well established as THE meeting place for Chinatown's teens and Chinese American adults.

two found photos of Lonnies

One of these is of opening day 1956 ! These are graciously shared by George Cheu and family.
The couplef pictured are Elaine and Raymond Chu

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The lonnie's coffee shoppe sign looks for a new home

Sadly U-Choose Express noodle shop at 21 MOtt St. didn't make it and a new venture has taken its place. The restaurant - Pho 21 (pronounced "fuh" for noodles in Vietnamese) is a pan asian restaurant with a totally different design sensibility and as a result the old Lonnie's sign didn't fit into the new decor.
We're looking into different museums around the country that might be appropriate for the 1949 sign. Suggestions are welcome, pls. leave a comment at the bottom of this posting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

original wall paper found in new renovation

Yet again the space that Lonnie's coffee Shoppe occupied is being renovated once more. It's a sign of our times when a restaurant can't seem to last even year before the owners decided to throw in the towel.
The new owners who took over the lease will be opening a Vietnamese Restaurant.
I found this scrap of wall paper still clinging to the wall during a recent demolition. I Hope this brings back more memories.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007


This is the link to the City Room Blog of the NY TIMES, Jenny Lee covered this story while she was covering the closing of much loved May May bakery owned by John Hung.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome to Lonnie's Coffee Shoppe Blog

Welcome to Lonnie's Coffee Shoppe blog !
Lonnies coffee shoppe was opened in the mid 1950's at 21 Mott St. in the heart of historic Chinatown.
Lonnie's was the only place of its kind in the midst of a hundred Chinese restaurants. Why you ask? because it was a burger joint, a hangout, a soda fountain, a meeting place, and not an egg roll nor a grain of rice in sight!
Lonnie's served hamburgers, lime rickeys, cherry cokes, and of course egg creams. Lonnie was my aunt, and she opened her coffee shoppe cum diner with her brother Shung, my father.
In the almost 30 years that Lonnie's was around many family members stood behind the counter flipping burgers and stirring egg creams.

I made this blog because I hope that out of the many dozens of Lee family members who remember Aunt Lonnie and her namesake coffee shoppe, an indisputable institution in Chinatown, and the many Italian, Jewish, Irish and American Born Chinese patrons who frequented it would add their comments here, and post photos of Lonnie's.