Construction work is going on all over Manhattan. One such construction project is the extension of Hunam Express, the Chinese buffet restaurant on Moro Street in Aggieville.
“This place is a little old and I thought it needed some change,” said Kevin Chen, who started the restaurant in 1999 and has owned it since.
According to Chen, the construction work behind the present building began on Aug. 22 and is expected to be done by Jan. 1, 2012. The construction itself is only a minor portion of Chen’s plans. Chen said the entire project is funded from his own pocket.
Brett Engleman, senior in hotel and restaurant management, thinks that it is a perfectly safe investment.
“Nowadays everything is about new designs and places,” Engleman said. “A lot of businesses are rebuilding.”
There has also been a lot of emphasis on sustainabililty and green engineering, according to Engleman.
Chen is combining the adjacent location at 1112 Moro Street and making room for two new businesses.
“The 1112 [location] will house the new Hunam Express while 1116 will be rented out,” Chen said.
Once the main construction is done, the kitchen will be moved to the new building during spring break and the building that currently houses Hunam will be taken down for some major remodeling. Chen expects all the construction work to be done by Aug. 1, 2012.
The newly constructed building will have three floors. The first floor will house the business and the two higher levels will house apartments. The construction sits on what used to be a parking lot for Speedwash laundry. According to Chen, the lot was his property.
“I own it and I had loaned it to Speedwash for parking,” Chen said.
Chen is confident about the response of his customers to this project.
“It’s a new building. More clean, more space, people will like it,” he said.
The relatively new construction work is yet to be noticed by some people. The response from Hunam regulars is positive.
“It was honestly looking a little shady. I think that a new building will be great for them,” said Natalie Carl, junior in education.
A huge fan of Chinese food, Carl said she was excited for the change.
“I already know what I am going to order,” Carl said.
Hunam also offers good food at reasonable prices.
“I can get two huge meals, crab rangoon and some egg rolls for just over $20. It lasts me three days. You can’t get better than that,” Carl said.
Another regular at Hunam, Engleman said he thinks that the remodeling is taking place because the place is small, yet pretty busy. Engleman said he liked the service and low prices.
“They will even deliver to your house, and that is very convenient if you don’t have a car,” Engleman said.