Four delays, hundreds of test plates, and about $1 million later, the Thai food favourite, Salad King, is back in business.
In the days leading up to the reopening, co-owner Ernest Liu described himself as “very tired” and “living day to day.” But as customers flooded in and planted themselves on the restaurant’s wood-and-stainless-steel banquettes Tuesday morning, he and his wife and partner, Linda Fung, showed little of the recent strain.
“I’m excited and happy for all my customers coming back,” Fung told CityNews.ca.
“We were supposed to have the soft opening on Friday, but we were still in a big mess. The light was not on. So we just opened for a few friends.”
They managed to work out the bugs, more or less, during tests on the weekend, but still need to learn some of the new equipment and get a liquor licence.
It’s been 10 months since a wall of the Empress Hotel building at Yonge and Gould streets crumbled, shutting down Salad King and a number of other businesses. On Jan. 3, arson gutted what was left of the heritage structure.
Luckily, Liu and Fung had found a new location, at 340 Yonge St., soon after the collapse and started work on their new restaurant. If it weren’t for their hydro needs, which involved negotiating with the City and digging up the street, they would have been open several weeks ago.
To celebrate the grand opening on March 17, Salad King is giving away free meals for a year. For details, click here.
With files from Anna Vlachos