'No one here': San Francisco's once bustling Chinatown now empty on Christmas Day

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Eating in San Francisco's Chinatown is a tradition for many on Christmas but the pandemic has forced many restaurants to remain closed.

"It's def a change to see Chinatown go from people everywhere to having no one here," said Nicholas Yu who is visiting San Francisco.

While Chinatown's markets remain open, most shops and restaurants are closed.

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Edward Siu is Chairman of the Chinatown Merchants United Association of San Francisco.

"Before the pandemic the business in Chinatown is really good business. They have a lot of restaurants opening on the holidays. Especially the holidays because a lot of visitors coming in," said Siu.

Visitors like David Lawler and his family.

Lawler's wife passed away from COVID-19 in November.

"We wanted to kind of keep a traditional life honoring her," said Lawler.

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"It's okay and being here is getting it out," said his son Jude Lawler.

For those restaurants still open, Siu says there are other challenges.

"Only two person- they work usually they have more than 10 people working but right now it's totally different," said Siu.

A totally different Christmas in so many ways with Chinatown struggling to see it through the pandemic and new year.

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