Today is a big day for a long-time Allentown restaurant family, recently displaced by the next phase of development planned for the arena complex area.
Jenny's Kualai, which the owner's daughter, Mei Lim, explained means “Jenny's walk” in the Malay language, opens today on Bethlehem's South Side.
The new restaurant replaces their longtime business, The House of Chen, which closed last month on Hamilton Street in Allentown.
“We needed to find something else and this seemed like a good place,” said Lim.
Lim said the furniture and much of the decoration in the new restaurant was brought over from the former restaurant. She noted that some of it is “very old,” but adds a lot of character to the new location.
It's been hard work transitioning from the restaurant that had been in the family since Mei Lim's grandparents bought it in 1978 and changed its named from Empire China to The House of Chen.
She said they kept the old restaurant open until July 31, but have been working on the new East Fourth Street restaurant in Bethlehem since they took over the property in May.
The restaurant will feature Malaysian cuisine with an emphasis on vegetarian fare. It will also serve noodle and dumpling dishes and some Chinese cuisine.
Jenny's Kualai is located at 102 E. Fourth St. in Bethlehem.