A Very Chao Christmas (Goodbye old friend)

My old friend, Chao, passed away a few days ago and he will be missed. He is probably best known around Muncie for his restaurant/grocery/gift shop known as New York House.

New York House occupied the space that is now home to Savage’s Alehouse. It was not a classy establishment and was not a place for suits. Or maybe it was…? Chao was friendly to all. There was no menu, just a question. Vegetarian? A simple yes or no is all that you had to specify. If you happened to be a particularly picky eater, this wasn’t the place for you. You got what you got and what you got was something delicious and affordable. It became a go-to for a myriad of artists, musicians, and other like-minded (or not so like-minded) individuals looking for an affordable meal made with loving and skilled hands. The experience didn’t end with your meal being served, it was usually followed up with an old VHS movie and a few stories from Chao. Always a memorable experience.

A while back I put together a Christmas show and potluck at NY House and it was probably one of the best memories I have of the place. After I heard of Chao’s passing, I started digging through old hard drives in search of any and all pictures of the event. Below is a gallery of what I was able to find. I apologize for the shitty pictures. My wife is the photographer and yet I was snapping photos.

He will be missed. RIP Chao.

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