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Chinatown getting a 24/7 food court

Chinatown Square, coming to Race Street, will house 8 restaurants.

Thai noodles at 5 a.m., spring rolls at noon, and maybe sushi at dinner?

Kenny Poon, who owns five restaurants in Center City and Northern Liberties, wants to open Chinatown's first food court, and right now crews are scooping out the former Shanghai Bazaar, a longtime gift shop at 1016 Race St.

Poon says he has at least three of the eight restaurant tenants nailed down for Chinatown Square – serving Thai, Japanese, and American cuisine. The restaurants will be on the first floor, while seating will be upstairs. Workers are now digging out the foundation to raise the ceiling height.

Some will open early and others will stay open late – "that way, we'll make it open 24/7," he said, adding that he wanted it to be more than a neighborhood destination.

Opening is penciled in for next February.

Poon's current holdings are Ken Shin Asian Diner in Northern Liberties, Tango, Tea-Do and BonChon in Chinatown, and Kai on 10th Street near Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

He also is developing a Japanese teahouse and ramen bar at 1028 Arch St. in Chinatown called Yamitsuki.