It’s not a good time to own a tiny bar-restaurant whose business model involves packing in patrons.
And so CheU Noodle Bar, a hipster take on Southeast Asian noodle dishes with a Jewish spin, has closed, effective immediately.
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Shawn Darragh, who opened CheU with chef Ben Puchowitz in March 2013 on 10th Street near Locust, said they didn’t see business coming back for awhile.
The 50% limit on indoor occupancy did not justify keeping the 30-seater open, and the two four-top tables barely moved the needle. “If it rains, you get nothing, and if it’s cold, you get nothing,” he said.
So with 18 months left on the lease, the two decided to shut down 10th Street. They have the newer, larger CheU Fishtown, which serves the menu favorites such as brisket ramen and coconut curry, as well as the Japanese bar nunu next door. They also own Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk Avenue, which has a large outdoor dining area. Gift cards bought at CheU on 10th Street are good at the other restaurants, he said.
“This sucks,” Darragh said. “It was our first place. This is a tough one to move on from. Fortunately, we have the same staff, many from the beginning. They moved up with us.”