Danny’s Szechuan Garden welcomed an enthusiastic crowd at its grand opening celebration last Saturday, when the populary eatery cut the ribbon on its spot that recently opened for business at 156-40B Crossbay Blvd. in Howard Beach, about eight blocks north of its former site.
For more than three decades, Danny Chan and his wife, Veronica, operated the restaurant at 164-14 Crossbay Blvd. before selling the building last June to New York Families For Autistic Children, a nonprofit group. After a 10-month hiatus, the restaurant opened for business about three weeks ago.
Chan, a Howard Beach resident, said he hopes the new location will bring him more business, while continuing to keep his old friends and customers happy.
He said the restaurant is now in a better location, noting that the old site was too large to be fully utilized.
The new spot is smaller and easier to manage, Chan said. It has 85 seats.
He said that about 90 percent of the menu items are the same as on the prior one, but Chan added that he plans to offer new dishes as well.
Lindenwood residents Michael and Linda Mellon joined Chan at his restaurant’s grand opening.
Michael Mellon said he and his wife have known Chan, and patronized his restaurant, for the 26 years they have lived in the community.
He said Danny’s has a warm environment, with the patrons feeling welcome in the establishment. He ordered shrimp with broccoli, and Linda ordered General Tso’s chicken.
Kathy Greene came from her Far Rockaway residence to attend Saturday’s festivities.
She said she has known Chan for 25 years since she and her family visited his first small restaurant on Crossbay near the corner of 156th Avenue.
Greene said she and her husband were so impressed on a subsequent visit to the restaurant a few months later that Chan remembered their name and what food and drinks they liked.
“You’ve got a customer for life,” Greene told Chan.
While noting that she loves the food, Greene ordered the wonton soup, pork in garlic sauce, ribs and the house fried rice.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) also welcomed the restaurant’s return.
“It’s a great day in Howard Beach to have Danny back,” Addabbo said. “I missed him; my family missed him.
“In this tough economy to do a ribbon cutting on a business is a positive for our community and a positive for the economy,” Addabbo continued.
The restaurant is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday to 11 p.m.
They can be reached at (718) 738-6500.