As more acceptance of Chinese cuisine developed in the last quarter of the 19th century in large cities, Chinese formed partnerships to raise capital to fund the opening of opulent large banquet hall restaurants decorated with fine furnishings that provided an exoticized oriental ambiance, and extensive menu selections that introduced western diners to more authentic as well as Americanized Chinese dishes.

 A prime example of these dining palaces was the King Joy Lo restaurant opened in 1906 in Chicago and managed by Chin Foin. it was funded by the Baohuanghui or Empire Reform Association  to raise funds to support its activities in the China reform movement, which failed as Sun Yat Sen led the revolution in 1911 that toppled the Chinese Empire. 



Located in downtown Chicago, the King Joy Lo appealed to the non-Chinese after-theater crowd and featured orchestral music and served nonchinese food such as steaks and chops in addition to chop suey and “Mandarin” dishes. A special section was reserved for women diners unaccompanied by men, since women shoppers were known to be fond of Chinese food.  Other interesting information about these Chicago restaurants, Chin Foin, and the connection of these restaurants with political issues is presented on this blog.