City Paper is not for tourists
Every time Hollywood East Cafe owner Janet Yu thought she was on the verge of reopening her esteemed dim sum parlor, there’d be yet another delay. Maybe it was because the cranes needed to install some rooftop units weren’t allowed to clog up the Westfield Shopping Center parking lot during Christmas season. Or maybe it was to satisfy yet another Montgomery County inspector.
Whatever the reason — and there are many — the opening of Hollywood East has been delayed and delayed and delayed. But the wait is over. Hollywood East will reopen tomorrow at its new Wheaton location.
“All the nightmares are over,” Yu tells me this afternoon.
But there’s an asterisk to this good news. The restaurant will open without its signature dim sum service.
Yu says kitchen crews are busy stocking the pantries and walk-ins today and prepping like mad for service tomorrow. But due to the labor-intensive nature of dim sum — hundreds and hundreds of pieces must be hand-made in advance — Hollywood East’s rolling-cart feast of dumplings and buns and rice crepes will not be available until later.
“We’re going to really, really try for dim sum on Sunday,” Yu says.
Of course, given the long wait for Hollywood East’s rebirth following its unceremonious ousting from a previous Wheaton location, I’m sure people can wait another a day or two to get their dim sum fix. Yu has certainly shown a great deal of patience waiting out this process. Each passing week just meant another seven days without revenue, as the rent and the renovation bills kept coming due.
But Yu says that she was able to cut a deal with the mall until her opening date. Others contributed to her cause, too. “It was bad, but my relatives and my friends really helped me out,” she says.