Meet Yu-Mei Wang, the owner of Uptown China in Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood. Most evenings you can find Yu-Mei making the rounds and chatting with her customers at Uptown China and the attached lounge. Her restaurant is the perfect place to relax over a cocktail, partake in Chinese cuisine, and find a new favorite meal.
Fun-fact: Yu-Mei loves having a spot near Climate Pledge arena. Her group of regulars has expanded to include Kraken and Storm fans, as well as concert goers.
Get to know more about Yu-Mei and Uptown China in this Business Spotlight Q&A.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in & why?
On the surface, Uptown China is about preparing delicious meals with fresh ingredients and generous portion sizes but, at the end of the day, the heart of our restaurant lies in community. One of my greatest pleasures is chatting with my customers when they come in to eat or drink. I have had the pleasure of watching children grow up and now they are bringing their families in for a meal. Two of our regulars, Scott and Wendy, had their first date at Uptown China years ago. Over Honey Walnut Prawns and Lemon Drops, we watched them fall in love and we were delighted when they announced their engagement. Now they come in a couple of times a month with their two teenagers. Our customers come for food and drink, of course, but just as much to spend time with friends. It is wonderful to see the enduring friendships that have been created right in our restaurant. It is so gratifying when new faces become old friends.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
If we don’t support our small business restaurants, shops and stores, then one community is no different from the next. Seattle’s inclusive culture defines Seattle’s restaurant scene and creates a unique identity for each neighborhood.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
We have been serving Queen Anne from the same location for 30 years! I am very proud to have been a part of this restaurant since its inception. One of the things that makes us unique is that every entree is cooked to order. If you order Sweet & Sour Chicken, we fry our hand-battered chicken and then toss it with the sauce we make from scratch in the wok. You will not find pre-made bulk items in our kitchen.