‘Hot’ damn!

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Four months is a long time to go without decent General Tso’s chicken, but South Slope’s patience will be rewarded when a new Chinese restaurant opens in the former Red Hot Szechuan spot on Seventh Avenue at 10th Street this summer.

“It’s just going to be exactly like Red Hot,” said commercial broker Maria Mackin, who brokered the deal with the new restaurant’s owners. “That’s good because the neighborhood really liked Red Hot.”

The space will undergo “minor renovations” before its Aug. 1 opening date, and it is tentatively called “Red Hot 2,” Mackin said.

Owners of the original restaurant closed it in late February for personal reasons.

Longtime Red Hot Szechuan fan Edward Lewine, whose favorite dish was chicken in black bean sauce, said everyone was baffled at the time.

“No one really understood why they closed,” he said. “It seemed very odd because if there was a restaurant that was making money, it was Red Hot. It was absolutely jam-packed constantly.”

That said, he’s optimistic about the future.

“The fact that Red Hot 2 is opening is a very good sign — you never want to have an empty retail space on your block…so it’s great to have the neighborhood filled out again,” he said.

Updated 5:06 pm, July 9, 2018
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