Hollywood East Cafe‘s construction delays would be almost comical if they weren’t costing owner Janet Yu money. She has already started paying rent on her space inside the Westfield Shopping Center in Wheaton, and she could really use some revenue to offset her overhead.
“It better be [open] before the end of the month,” Yu says, her voice taking on an edge. It’s like she’s issuing a threat to the thin air.
What stands between Yu and an opening date are some last-minute installations and a battery of inspections. Seven new wok burners and their water units are finally supposed to be delivered tomorrow as well as a ready-made bar that should sit 10 diners. Once those items are installed, and the dining room carpet laid, Yu will then have to start scheduling the inspections.
That’s when things get really unpredictable. Yu doesn’t know how long it will take to get the final mechanical and electrical inspections, not to mention the required visits from the health and liquor control departments. Then there’s the occupancy permit.
Despite all the potential obstacles, Yu thinks she can meet her end-of-the-month deadline. “I think we can,” she says. “We’re really pushing.”
Yu says her young dim-sum chef, Kenny Lei, has been using his time off well. “Since we’ve been off,” the owner says, “he’s gone back to China to learn a few more things.” He’s been working at tea houses in Guangzhou to fine tune his skills.
Well, my anticipation for the rebirth of Hollywood East has just increased by, oh, 1,000 percent.