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Chinese Restaurants in D.C. at Mid-Century

We previously chronicled some of the very first Chinese restaurants to open in Washington. Traditional Chinese restaurants became ubiquitous here, as in other American cities, during the 1920s and 1930s. While going out for Chinese food offered a touch of the exotic, it was generally not an expensive undertaking, and it was accessible to many. Washingtonians became accustomed to eating Chinese food—Chinese American food, that is—on a regular basis. The Peking Restaurant, at 711 13th Street NW, opened in 1957 (author's collection). Chinese restaurants branched out from Chinatown to open as casual neighborhood eateries across the city. Most were not segregated. During World War II, the most successful Chinese restaurants in the city were several large nightclubs—including the Casino Royal and Lotus restaurants on 14th Street and Treasure Island on K Street—that offered a variety of live entertainment as well as typical Chinese American fare. From the start, many Chinese restaurants

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