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This article was published 21/4/2018 (711 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Kim’s Asian Restaurant has come a long way from the small food outlet it started out as at The Town Centre 30 years ago.
Current owner Angie Nguyen said that if everything goes to plan, she expects to see their second location, at 2330 Victoria Ave., open for business on April 26.
Already a few weeks behind as a result of their gutting the building "from top to bottom," she said she has become antsy to open the front door to customers.
Larger than their present restaurant space at 42 McTavish Ave. East, Nguyen said the restaurant is indicative of the continued progression of her family’s business, which has been the product of not only their own hard work and dedication, but also support from the community.
Her parents, Kim and Van Binh Nguyen, arrived in Brandon as Vietnamese refugees in 1978.
Sponsored by the congregation at St. George’s Church, the couple went on to raise a family in the Wheat City, which Angie said they have long considered their home.
After a dozen years of running their smaller-scale The Town Centre venture, the couple shifted the business to their present-day McTavish Avenue East space.
Earlier this week, crews were seen going in and out of their new space, which until earlier this year housed the longstanding Kam Lung Chinese Restaurant, which closed without warning.
The restaurant was originally owned by Sergio and Susan Lee, who owned and operated it for 37 years prior to Patrick Sun and his wife Nan taking ownership of the building in 2010.
Unable to shed light on what led to Kam Lung’s closure, Angie Nguyen said when the opportunity came up, her family jumped at the opportunity to expand their footprint within a city that has always supported them.
She said their second location would offer the same broadly Asian-style dishes that their other location serves up, within a newly constructed "modern Asian" environment.
Along with the newly renovated space, Nguyen said the restaurant would follow the same strict policies around cleanliness as their McTavish Avenue East location.
Situated outside their new building are two Fu Dogs —marble statues of lions that are considered good luck in Chinese culture.
Inside the building are four smaller marble statues, including an emperor, general and two soldiers.
It’s the Fu Dogs that draw the eye to Kim’s Asian Restaurant by facing the traffic that streams along Victoria Avenue.
The statues were shipped in from China, during a journey that found them spend a few months floating on the ocean before being loaded onto a train at the port, and from the train to a flatbed truck to Brandon.
Nguyen said while she and husband Tony Hong would run the new restaurant, her brother Billy would take command of their McTavish Avenue East space.
In the midst of this week’s flurry of construction to get things ready in time for Thursday’s opening, Angie said the speedy work of the contractors has allowed them to get where they are.
Although a few weeks behind schedule, she said that the renovation project proved larger than they’d initially anticipated.
Even so, Angie said the finished product would be worth it.
From her parents arriving in Canada with little to where they are now, she said that her goal has been to make her parents proud.
With her parents looking after her kids while she heads their expanding legacy, Nguyen appears to have filled their shoes.
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