Project of The Month: Tai Tung

Image by Western Neon © 2017

Western Neon is pleased to collaborate with local restaurant and cultural touchstone Tai Tung to help revitalize a piece of Pacific Northwest history. Firmly nestled in Chinatown in the Seattle Chinatown International District east of Pioneer Square, this famous eatery is at the epicenter of Chinese cuisine in Seattle and was established over 75 years ago by “Grandpa” Quan — proudly opening its doors in 1935. Not only was Tai Tung Bruce Lee’s favorite lunch spot but this one-of-a-kind West Coast small business has been a guiding light for both long-cherished and expansive Chinese American dishes for over three generations.

Image by Western Neon © 2017

Working closely with Harry Chan, the current owner of Tai Tung, and SCIDpda (Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority), Western Neon created a new marquee blade sign to adorn the restaurant’s facade based on the original storefront design. This custom-painted aluminum cabinet features illuminated bullnose returns and crisp, bright text over first-surface graphic details rendered in a concise color spectrum. Harking back to Tai Tung’s original signage, this newly imagined work of urban art simultaneously evokes traditional Chinatown International District symbology while pointing to the core of this tight-knit community.

Image by Western Neon © 2017

In an era where small-businesses are under threats small and large, it is our distinct pleasure to create notable works for thriving entities like Tai Tung. This sign is both a new chapter and reaffirming historical nod, efficiently reinforcing what the term “Chop Suey” signifies. Invented in or around the San Francisco Gold Rush of 1848 by Chinese immigrants to the region, Chop Suey has taken many forms but at its heart incorporates an array of ingredients to create a dish built on possibilities. Harry continues to generate this same sense of opportunity with his location, menu, and energy and we at Western Neon are proud to support Tai Tung’s legacy for years to come.
 Plan to visit Tai Tung while you wander the streets of the Seattle Chinatown International District and sample Harry’s broad array of traditional dishes such as Fried Rice or assorted Noodles and with 24 hrs. of advance notice, you can try his Barbecued or Minced Squab. Whatever you do, stop in to relish the past, present, and future of Harry’s genre-defining Chop Suey.