SAINT JOHN – Ken Singh loves many things about the new location for the House of Chan in Millidgeville, but sharing a building with a gas bar and convenience store is high on the list.
“People buy their gas, buy Chinese food and go buy pop and chips …. all in one place,” said Singh in March when they announced they were opening the new restaurant beside the Irving gas bar and Circle K convenience store.
The Millidgeville House of Chan opened its doors last week and co-owner Greg Moase says Singh’s instincts were correct.
“We’re right in front of them when they’re pumping their gas,” he said. “They can’t help but look in, so they’re tempted and come right on in.”
Moase says “an overwhelming number of people coming through the doors” since last Thursday. It certainly helps to share a building with a gas bar, he says, but the restaurant is also located in a busy, densely populated area of the neighbourhood.
“We have a mixture of people coming in,” he said. “The seniors complex is across the street so some of them are coming over. There are people that work in the area at the hospital and call centres. Then there’s UNB and the many apartment buildings in the area. We’re really pleased with our location.”
This is the third House of Chan location in the Saint John area. Singh opened one in Brunswick Square in the mid-1990s. In 2014 Ken, his wife Holly Singh, and Moase opened a location in Quispamsis.
The Brunswick Square location is buffet style. It has dishes with sweet sauces and chicken balls that resemble the original House of Chan that operated in the 70s and 80s in Saint John.
The new location in Millidgeville is a 30-seat restaurant with a modern, clean design much like the one in Quispamsis, and has a similar menu. The Millidgeville and Quispamsis locations have more healthy options, with Thai a well as Chinese dishes.
Moase says Pad Thai, Massaman Curry and other Thai curries are some of the popular dishes at the new Millidgeville location, which he says has been busy since opening day.
“People came right away at 11 a.m., as soon as we opened,” he said. “It’s been a great success with lots of positive feedback. People are happy that we’re opened up out here.”
They talked about creating an Atlantic Canadian franchise when they launched the Quispamsis location four years ago. They’ve now opened a location in Millidgeville and Moase doesn’t rule out further expansion even though they’re focused on what they have for now.
“We always keep our eyes out for the opportunities,” said Moase. “We’re always looking at the next step. the next venture.