Housemade noodles, plus savory soup bowls, stir-fries & bubble tea, in a casual, modern interior.
Often, customers will come in and ask us about the name “Corner 17”. To be honest, it is a story that I had never formalized. Corner 17 is special to our family, as it is our comeback story, since our previous restaurant failed in 2007. Corner 17 means family, growth, and dreams, I say this because this is the American dream our family worked so hard for. My sister Rachel and I were raised in poverty in rural China in the 1980’s, and from a young age, we had to get up early to go pick flowers from the jasmine fields in an attempt to earn a little extra money for our family. Our parents were always working, so we had to look after Cher as well. Since we lived well below the poverty line, we didn’t have much on the table to be shared. I vividly remember we had a guest over for dinner one time, and how I felt so embarrassed about what little food was had to offer on our table. That was the moment when I felt a responsibility to improve our living condition. When I was 17 years old, my family moved to the United States, where we embarked on a new difficult journey. I will forever be grateful to my sister Rachel, who put her life on hold, working tirelessly to put me through college. At that age I had no interest in owning a restaurant, so once I graduated I got a 9 to 5 job, but even with my new job, I wasn’t unable to make enough to improve my family’s living conditions. The thing is, my parents always wanted to open our own family restaurant, so we decided to take a chance. Eventually after years and years of saving, we saved enough money and pulled out loans to buy Joy Luck Buffet, that point is where my passion for restaurant owning truly began. We all felt joy from creating and sharing family recipes with you. Corner 17 is more than a restaurant, Corner 17 is a platform where we can share food and culture that we love with the people of St. Louis. So the name “Corner 17” is a reminder and a nod to the age I was when I came to America, and from that moment I embarked on a huge turning point in my life and I am forever grateful to have my family stand by me at every corner of the battle. -much love C17