By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 23, 2021 at 5:56 PM

Update: New, important details about this story are unfolding. Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for the latest news when it becomes available.

At the start of the pandemic, as xenophobic and racist attitudes toward people of Asian descent reared their ugly heads both locally and nationwide, Lori Fredrich wrote an article encouraging diners to rally in support of Chinese restaurants.

Unfortunately, about a month later, Lucky Liu's had to briefly shut its doors – not because of the early COVID-19 quarantine – but because of threats and attacks that, according to the restaurant, put the staff's safety and well-being in question. When the restaurant reopened about a month and a half later, Lori again wrote a piece about fighting hate with support and helping out Asian restaurants, as they again faced a horrific wave of racism on top of the economic shock of the pandemic.

Sadly, due to the recent hate crime in Atlanta and now, because of an alleged racist anti-Asian encounter in Shorewood, we must write a similar article yet again. 

"Unfortunately, Shorewood is not immune to racist hate," writes a Facebook post from the Shorewood Business Improvement District. "Last night, a man walked into Nana Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar and yelled racist and xenophobic statements while throwing trash on the floor. This increase in violent attacks against the Asian American Pacific Island community since the pandemic needs to end."

Nana's neighbors, Three Lions Pub, also posted about the incident, condemning the racist attack.

Let's stand for what's right, Milwaukee

The number of anti-Asian attacks and reports of intimidation and abuse have been on a horrifying rise across the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – and Milwaukee has not been exempt. I wish I could say this isn't us, Milwaukee, but listening to the words of local AAPI groups – and considering the city's well-reported segregation and inequality woes, along with other racist hate crimes including the acid attack in late 2019 – we must acknowledge that it is.

But even as we acknowedge this ugly reality, we don't have to accept it or allow it to continue. We can't accept it. We can be better – and we must be – for the sake of all Milwaukeeans, both now and into the future. Hate must be called out; racism must know that it is unwelcome. Milwaukee can be such a warm and welcoming community of a city, a place we all love to call our home. But it must be that for all. 

What you can do right now

An easy (and delicious) way to show your support is to order from local Asian restaurants, many of which have waged a battle against anti-Asian sentiments while also working to survive the challenges of the pandemic. So, it's a very good time to enjoy a tasty meal, while also giving Nana Asian Fusion a taste of Milwaukee love in return.

The Shorewood restaurant – currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery – is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 10 p.m.

For even more Asian restaurants to support during these tense times, check out some of these best-of recommendations as well as this guide.

After seeing Milwaukee at its worst, let's show Nana – as well as the city's many other outstanding Asian restaurants – our best.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.