Chinatown, Salt Lake City

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Salt Lake City Chinatown
Retail district
Coordinates: 40°45′0″N 111°53′0″W / 40.75000°N 111.88333°W / 40.75000; -111.88333Coordinates: 40°45′0″N 111°53′0″W / 40.75000°N 111.88333°W / 40.75000; -111.88333
Country  United States
State Utah
City Salt Lake City
ZIP Code 84115
Area code(s) Area code 801Area code 385

The U.S. city of Salt Lake City, Utah, has a Chinatown (Chinese: 盐湖城唐人街; pinyin: yán hú chéng táng rén jiē) that is located in South Salt Lake that was completed in 2012 according to the official website.[1] According to the Deseret News, ground breaking on the new Chinatown occurred in 2011[2] for a Chinese-themed shopping mall with a "... 27,000 square foot Asian grocery store, 65,000 square foot indoor mall including 38 Asian-themed shops and 12,000 square feet Asian-themed strip mall". The strip mall is now open.[3] Margaret Yee, a 1962 graduate said that "... 10,000-plus Chinese nationals living in the area have wanted [a Chinatown] for a long time...."[4] By late 2012, the Chinatown has experienced an upsurge of Chinese immigrants and the businesses are now filling up the Chinatown.[5]


Men lounging outside saloon & Chinese laundry, Salt Lake City, 1910

Historically, the city of Salt Lake City, Utah had a Chinese population that worked in the mining camps and the transcontinental railroad. The first Chinese peoples came in the 1860s and had formed a historical Chinatown in a section called "Plum Alley" on Second South Street which lasted until 1952. The area had a network of laundromats, restaurants and oriental specialty shops. While most residents kept within their micro-community, the residents did take part in some local Salt Lake City traditions. According to the tourist sign located at the former Chinatown, the Salt Lake City's New Year's Day Parade featured a "200 foot long Chinese dragon."[6] According to KUED TV, Plum Alley was eventually razed "... and was replaced by Regent Street Parking Terrace".[7] According to KUED, around 1,800 Chinese lived here with "... a network of laundries, restaurants, Oriental specialty shops..." and "... gambling joints, providing the social outlet for many of the lonely residents..." who were bachelors.[7] A new Chinatown was to be opened in at 3390 S. State Stin South Salt Lake in late 2012, according to the developer's website.[8]


  1. ^ "Salt Lake Chinatown". 
  2. ^ Wendy Leonard, "South Salt Lake breaks ground for Utah's first Chinatown", Deseret News, March 21, 2011
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Wendy Leonard and Nkoyo Iyamba, "South Salt Lake breaks ground for Utah's Chinatown",, March 21, 2011
  5. ^ Heather L. King, "Diverse Asian options surround South Salt Lake’s Chinatown", The Salt Lake Tribune, November 6, 2012
  6. ^ "Plum Alley Today". 
  7. ^ a b "The Hidden History of Plum Alley, Salt Lake's Chinatown", University of Utah: KUED 7
  8. ^ Salt Lake Chinatown website