The Truth About Eddie Huang's Failed Restaurant

Many of us may connect the name Eddie Huang to Fresh off the Boat, the ABC sitcom which tells the story of an immigrant family from Taiwan who settles down in Orlando. But New York diners-in-the-know had heard of Huang long before that. In 2009 he and his brother Evan opened Baohaus, which was inspired by the home cooking they enjoyed while they were growing up (via Baohaus).

A year later, in 2010, Huang opened a second restaurant, Xiao Ye, which translates into English as "midnight snack." But that venture drew an unflattering review from The New York Times food critic Sam Sifton, which called on Huang to spend more time cooking and less time on social media. Sifton also said that the restaurant was best enjoyed when customers were drunk and starving (via The New York Times).

Eddia Huang's Xiao Ye closed after just four months

Sam Sifton's less than flattering comments about the restaurant's lackluster food might have been a sign that the stars did not align for Xiao Ye. The restaurant was first nailed for promoting an all-you-can-drink event involving Four Loko — which has been charitably called "blackout in a can." When it reported on the event, Eater says serving the controversial drink wasn't a problem, but holding an "all-you-can-drink" promotion is, so Chef Eddie Huang canceled the "all-you-can-drink" and priced the Four Loko at $3 a can instead.

Following that, Huang said the restaurant was raided four times by the Liquor Authority (SLA): the first came after the event, and saw agents destroy Xiao Ye's inventory; then undercover agents appeared with fake IDs to try and order drinks, which saw the restaurant slapped with fines. Because Huang thought the restaurant was in danger of losing its liquor license, he and his partner opted to sell the space before that happened... just four months after it opened (via Eater).

Huang has since revived Baohaus... and the restaurant comes with a full liquor license (via Bowery Boogie).