There’s a new Chinese food restaurant in town

Detroit Lakes was reduced to two Chinese cuisine restaurants for a few months, and residents may have wondered what happened to the Hunan Spring Buffet, which was located in the mall near Walmart.

Well, it’s getting a makeover.

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Nick Mai, the owner of Marvelous Nails in the Downtown Crossing building, is now expanding his business efforts to include owning a Chinese cuisine restaurant.

“I bought it three months ago,” Mai said, adding that he renamed the establishment Hunan Cuisine and has been remodeling it ever since. “The previous (restaurant) was a bit dirty.”

The restaurant wasn’t doing so well after it received a negative restaurant report from Valley News Live, which said the buffet had two critical and 11 non-critical health code violations, including leaving food on cardboard as a contact surface, storing pots on the floor, an overly hot cold room and a stained women’s toilet.

But Mai replaced all the devices, making them like new, and he plans to keep them.

“The dishwasher, the steam table, everything is new,” he said.

And the restaurant is almost ready to open, ready to welcome customers on Tuesday, November 1.

Mai says all staff are hired and ready to serve – true, more buffet style.

“It’s a restaurant, not a buffet,” Mai said.

Although no longer a do-it-yourself service, the restaurant will still offer takeout for those who prefer to forego the entire dining experience.

Among other changes, the restaurant will also offer pho, which is a classic Vietnamese soup consisting of beef, broth and noodles along with some spices.

“A lot of people like pho,” Mai said, adding that many restaurants in the Fargo/Moorhead area serve it. It’s even a staple at Mai’s. He says he and his family really enjoy doing it.

They will also serve smoothies.

Mai, who graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and has been in the community for 22 years, says he knows his new business venture will be well received by the community, which supported him when he opened Marvelous Nails. “I have a firm belief that I will do well,” he said, adding that it all comes down to customer service. “I’m really good with customer service. Catering is a fun and challenging business that I want to get into.”

Mai says he will manage the new restaurant, making sure it takes off and starts strong, while his wife runs Marvelous Nails.

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