Owners of the New Peking Chinese Restaurant, which was destroyed in a fire in May, are renovating a new site just down West Main Street for a reopening next month or in September.
Officials said the fire appeared accidental. In addition to the restaurant, it destroyed apartments on upper floors, displacing nine people.
Restaurant co-owner Andy Lin of Fultonville said the new site, a three-story building at 26 W. Main St., built in 1884, hasn’t been occupied in years and required a complete renovation. Its previous incarnation was as an auto parts store, so none of the necessary restaurant equipment was there.
On Tuesday, friends of the family and contractors were painting, installing air conditioning and putting in a drop ceiling.
The floor was replaced with new tiles, and the rear of the first floor was turned into a large kitchen surrounded with stainless steel sheeting. New electrical wiring is being installed along with duct work for the heating and air-conditioning system.
“Everything new,” Lin said.
Lin said the family was insured for the May fire and said they’ve been able to get by without the revenue they earned operating the Fonda establishment.
Lin said the new facility is about the same size as the old one, but “I think better.”
Lin said his neighbors, as well as people walking by the work site, have been asking when the new restaurant will open.
“Everybody friendly, a lot of people helped me,” he said.
Lin said they might be able to open the new restaurant in a couple of weeks.
Fonda Mayor Kim Flander said she and her family enjoyed having Chinese food from New Peking.
“As soon as it was gone, it was like a complete panic attack,” said Flander, who said her family has had Chinese food only once since the fire.
“We’re just really looking forward to them coming back and starting their business up here again very shortly,” Flander said.
Flander said the May fire could have meant the end of Chinese food in the village altogether.
“Nothing is ever a definite. They could have chosen to go anywhere else, and I’m sure other people did approach them and say ‘Hey, we’d love for you to be … in our village.’ But they are wonderful, wonderful people and we just encouraged them to find something here,” Flander said.
“So we’re very encouraged they wanted to stay here, they didn’t have to but they chose to and I’m very thankful,” Flander said. “I think the people in the village of Fonda and in the surrounding areas that have utilized it are going to be very encouraged by it too.”