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Traditional Chinese restaurants take root in Chicago | Updated: 2012-03-14 10:40

"Lao Hunan" shows Chinese spirit

The success of Sichuan cuisine gave Hu more ideas. When Beijing hosted the Olympic Games in 2008, Hu opened "Lao Beijing" and "Lao Shanghai." He opened "Lao You Ju" in 2010 and "Lao Hunan" in 2011.

But Hu appeared especially passionate about "Lao Hunan."

"I always intended to open Lao Hunan, which started service on August 1, 2011. I know Lao Hunan is a good brand. Many top Chinese leaders and famous people come from Hunan," he said.

In fact, when one enters Chicago's Chinatown through an arch which says "The whole world as one community," one can also see the slogan "Serve the people" and a portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong.

At the entrance of Lao Hunan, on the left wall one can see the slogan "Serve the people" and a large portrait of Chairman Mao. Other quotations popular in Chinese schools, such as "Study hard and make progress every day," also grace the walls. On the right wall, there is a list of famous people from Hunan, and portraits of Mao, Cai Hesen and Lei Feng smile down benevolently at the diners.

In the restaurant, waiters and waitresses wear green uniforms and satchels reminiscent of the old times.

Hu said many customers from the American Midwest come to his five restaurants, and they handle over 1,000 deliveries every day.

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