Diners walked up a flight of steps to reach Mee Jun Low, the Chinese restaurant whose regular patrons loved its seedy bohemian atmosphere and its affordable prices. Its fame crested in the 1960s and early 1970s when lines formed outside the door at 219 W. Mulberry St., above the Brass Towne antiques shop and a short walk from Abe Sherman’s newspaper and magazine shop and Martick’s restaurant.
One of its regulars, Stanley Heuisler, recalled the eatery: “It was Cantonese, but very good because Mr. Mee cooked each dish to order. And that was unusual. Standards like egg foo yung, pork fried rice, sweet and sour shrimp, beef and broccoli, were all good with fresh crunchy veggies. Mr. Mee knew how to make a wok sing. Mee Jun Low was good, and had great vibes. And it was cheap.”
Others diners remember its head waitress, Irene, and how she delivered meals in the crowded quarters, calling out, “Beep, beep.” She also admitted patrons when a line formed on the staircase.
John Dorsey, The Sun’s old restaurant critic, liked the place, too. “It used to be dark and shabby-looking, but then they repainted it; now it is bright and shabby-looking. I suspect, unless it changed hands, there is nothing that could alter the character of Mee Jun Low in any significant way, for as everyone must know already, it is one of the few consistently interesting restaurants in town.”
Dorsey went on to single out its steamed lobster and shrimp in black bean sauce. The restaurant, founded in 1919, closed in the 1980s.