As the hostility and violence toward Chinese on the west coast escalated during the later part of the 19th century, more Chinese moved toward the middle of the country toward safety.  For a while, many of them opened laundry businesses but by the 1920s, they found it more attractive to start family-run restaurants.  Although they were run by Chinese, most of these restaurants beyond Chinese communities served mostly American dishes and only a few Chinese-like dishes such as chop suey, egg foo young, chow mein.  These family operated businesses enabled many of the children to go to college; however, until after WWII, many of these college-educated Chinese could not get jobs due to racial discrimination and often settled in working in their parents' restaurants. The restaurant, like the laundry before it, became strongly associated by the public with Chinese people.