In fact, Kosher Express was the only kosher Chinese restaurant, absent the Boston suburbs, between New Rochelle and Montreal, Canada. With that much territory from which to draw, one would think the place would be a rousing success.
No such luck.
There are some efforts going on to revive the business, located in the Amity shopping plaza on the New Haven-Woodbridge town line. I don't think they have much of a chance.
The reasons the place failed, well, let's not go into that. It serves no purpose. You do a post mortem to learn why something died, to learn from your mistakes. We in New Haven won't learn, so why bother.
If you are a masochist and want to open a business, then running a restaurant is for you. It's a business with ridiculous hours, impossible customer-service goals and few rewards. Running a kosher restaurant is all that to the 10th power.
Not only do you deal with personal tastes (or lack thereof), but you are dealing with the myriad requirements of kashrut as interpreted by myriad "experts." Add in the fact that it was a meat restaurant and the odds of success dwindle to a precious few.
In this case, the owners really never got it as far as service was concerned.
Restaurant service is more than slapping food down on a table. As a source said many years ago, a restaurant meal is an entertainment experience as much as, or even more than, a way to assuage hunger. Not so at Kosher Express.
The food was quite good for kosher Chinese. I threw a birthday party for my wife there a couple of years ago and the food was really good and there was plenty of it. Nobody complained about the food. There needed to be more of those experiences for the general community for the place to succeed. It just couldn't get itself together.
It's too bad. I'm sorry to see it go.
Here's an idea for a sharp city alderman who is a regular reader of this posting. It's free.
Once of the ideas police circulate for prevention of burglaries is not to advertise that you've gone away for a while.
The cops advise residents who will be away to suspend newspaper delivery and mail service if you have an outside mailbox and not a mail slot. Don't order items to be delivered while you are away.
But there should be a law against others advertising that you are away. That's what people do when they shove advertising fliers in your storm door handle or leave them on your porch where potential burglars can spot them.
That should be illegal and if a homeowner returns to find such a flier, the business promoting itself in this fashion should be liable for a hefty fine.
Kudos to Alderman Sergio Rodriguez and the Livable City Initiative.
There is a house in my neighborhood that is clearly abandoned, probably due to foreclosure. It was getting really ratty -- the lawn not mowed and the rest of the signs that screamed: burglarize me.
A couple of weeks ago, an LCI crew came by, mowed the lawn, cleaned up the outside of the place and made it look respectable.
I'm sure my Westville neighbors join me in thanking you for the effort.
Until next time...