Effort to build a Little Taiwan in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Business leaders are coming together to create a "Little Taiwan" here in the Valley.

Inside the kitchen at Hunan Chinese Restaurant in Northeast Fresno, Chef Liu is busy preparing popular dishes. It's an art, he says, that you can taste. The restaurant, which prides itself on preparing western and authentic meals, is now serving as the anchor of a shopping center highlighting Asian culture.

"L.A. or San Francisco they have like Chinatown or Taipei, and when we got here with my family here we found that we couldn't find a similar place in Fresno," business manager and owner Stella Pan said.

Pan and her sister are behind the effort to create a Little Taiwan at the Cedar Village Tree shops.

A new cafe called Taipei 101 just opened and serves everything from boba tea to desserts and snacks. The store was modeled after Asian tea shops with an American flair.

"We're different from other places. For example, at the restaurant we try to teach the customer what real Chinese food is. The tea house is where a lot of teenagers hang out," business manager Jim Chi said.

In addition to Taipei 101, a furniture store called Heaven and Earth is open. The store has a variety of antique and authentic furniture pieces and practices feng shui. They were also given the OK by the Taiwan National Palace Museum to sell souvenirs here in the U.S. For the owners, they're proud to build and share something with the community.

"Build up our own business for ourselves and for the Taiwanese people or Chinese people here, and also for our next generation too. We hope everybody can experience different culture," said Pan.

A fourth store will soon be added to the center in the coming weeks.
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