By Sheri Duff
Change is good. At least that’s what Mei Wang and Kevin Ke, longtime owners of Chef Leu’s House, thought when they decided to forgo the restaurant’s annual Chinese New Year celebration in favor of a new look.
Closed for dining since mid-January, the successful Chinese restaurant that first opened its door in 1994 is undergoing a much needed facelift. Already the exterior windows and entryway are noticeably different and there are more changes to come. Many more.
“The renovation is very exciting but very nerve wracking at the same time,” said Wang. “People call to ask if the restaurant has gone out of business or if it’s been sold,” she admitted. “But nothing could be further from the truth. This our first remodel in 19 years so we weren’t sure what to expect.”
When the longtime restaurant reopens in March expectations will be high. The owners are confident that diners will welcome the opportunity check out every renovation and addition. Especially the new open floor plan with its bright, updated color scheme, a sushi bar, a newly decorated private room, a new entryway and reception area, a handicap accessible dining room, and a new deck with ample outdoor seating will be completed at a later date.
“We are working with two construction companies. Consumer Construction is in charge of the building expansion while DH Cameron Construction will build the sushi bar, reception area, cocktail bar, among other additions,” Wang said. “We couldn’t be happier. We are on schedule to open next month and the renovation is going smoothly so far.”
Already known for outstanding regional cuisines including Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin, and Vietnamese, Chef Leu’s will add Japanese cuisine to the mix. “Sushi is so popular now,” Wang informed. “That’s what made us decide to put in a sushi bar. I think it will be a good addition for us and for our customers,” she said.
“We are really opening up the space. Diners will be able to see everything in the restaurant. Not like it was before,” Wang said proudly. “Just wait until you see the new bright colors in here. The walls will be red with black accents. And the ceilings will be gold.”
With the anticipated completion date just a few weeks away, Wang’s thoughts turn to a reopening celebration. “I’m not sure what we will do yet. But I’m definitely thinking about it,” she implied. “Look for details in early March.”
Until then Chinese food enthusiasts can order take out from Chef Leu’s. “Although the restaurant is under construction we are still open for carry out during regular business hours,” Wang supplied. Call 985-5258 to order. Chef Leu’s is open Tuesday through Thursday 11 am-9:30 pm, Friday and Saturdays from 11 am to 10:30 pm, Sundays 11:30 am-9:30 pm, and closed on Mondays.