In a story replete with sheer determination and humility, Chinese immigrants Xiao Guang Zhao and Che Jian Ping have returned their New Thriving restaurant to Main Street in Georgetown – nine years after fire destroyed the Park Hotel, which housed New Thriving on the ground floor.
Adding to its unique architecture – a mix of Asian and European influences – the restaurant is the first in Guyana to offer sushi, and complements its Chinese platter with a choice of Japanese and Thai dishes. There is also a bar on the ground floor.
Whether you choose to dine while enjoying the cozy atmosphere of the VIP floor or you choose to enjoy the fresh air of the open air balcony which hangs over Main Street – the ambience of the new restaurant is sure to guarantee that feel of “special.”
Xiao Guang Zhao and Che Jian Ping came to Guyana 16 years ago, but have now embraced naturalisation and are proud to declare their Guyanese status. Their New Thriving Restaurant became the first in the city to offer customers a chance to see how their meal is being prepared.
That restaurant was set up in 1993 and was described by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds as a bold move during a difficult time in Guyana – coming just a year after the election of the PPP government in October of 1992.
Mr. Hinds was the main speaker at the grand opening of the restaurant yesterday.
Proud now of their Guyanese status, the owners of the restaurant made sure that the grand ceremony embraced all the cultures of Guyana.
So while the Chinese drum played on and Chinese did the traditional Lion dance, Indian tassa drummers were also brought in, and during the ceremony – at the special request of the owners – the National Dance Company gave the audience a representation of all of Guyana’s ethnic groups in dance.
The couple said the opening of the new restaurant is testimony to their faith and confidence in the economy, and their faith in the government and people of Guyana as well.
They said they were proud not only to make “big” investment in Guyana, but proud also to now be called Guyanese.
The couple said the completion of the restaurant is ‘a dream come true’ and that the opening was a special day for them.
Mr. Yesu Persaud, who was the guest speaker at the event, did not fail to impress upon those who were specially invited, the humility of Xiao Guang Zhao and Che Jian Ping.
He said that before the New Thriving restaurant on Main Street was burnt down, it was one of the most spectacular restaurants in the city. When that happened, the couple moved to open a restaurant in Barr Street, Kitty and later opened another one on Camp Street and Brickdam.
He said New Thriving’s move back to Main street makes it not only a dream come through for the owners, but he said it means that Guyana now has the most modern Chinese restaurant in the Caribbean, one that could compare favourably with those in other parts of the world.
Persaud is chairman of Demerara Bank, which funded the project along with Trust Company Guyana Limited.
Prime Minister Hinds, who is currently performing the duties of President, praised the owners of the restaurant for opening what he said was a “bigger and grander” restaurant that would become iconic in Guyana and the Caribbean.
Mr. Hinds also praised Mrs. Che for her dedication to community service, noting that every year all the proceeds of a Sunday brunch at the restaurant are handed over to the Guyana Relief Council.
The restaurant could always be called upon to provide food for those who would have been hit by disasters, he added.
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