Two new businesses opened Saturday in Granby Village to music, dancing and a warm welcome from the community.
Han Asian Cuisine and New Beginnings Massage and Holistic Care celebrated a joint grand opening ceremony in the Granby Village Shops with a traditional Chinese lion dance, tours of the new businesses and a champagne toast.
Han Asian Cuisine, co-owned by Simsbury Green Tea and Jimmy Chen owner James Chen and Chris Tse, offers sushi and fine Asian dining in a beautifully redesigned space. The old Chinese takeout has been replaced by an upscale restaurant that had guests to Saturday’s event raving.
“Oh my gosh, it’s amazing,” Sarah Chamberland said of the food at Han. “I went to the [Chinese takeout] before they opened and it is a night and day difference.”
Chris Tse described the restaurant as "small and cozy" and offering "a different eating experience."
Everything at the restaurant has been redesigned to suit the owners, with a natural feel - stone fixtures, hardwood floors and paper lamps - as well as striking art given by a patron, Bill Scheel, who tried the food and said he had to offer his art to the new restaurant.
Each table is set with chopsticks.
Across the plaza, Annie Chamberland opened New Beginnings Massage and Holistic Care after a very long day and night. Chamberland said she frequently works with cancer patients and others who are ill and need care, regardless of whether she's planning a grand opening. As a result, she was putting the finishing touches on her store well into the early morning Saturday.
But when local officials arrived, they praised the transformation of the store.
"I'm so glad she put the effort in to redo this space," said Mark Neumann, Granby Board of Selectman member. "It's so calming."
The store had previously housed a frame shop but Chamberland knew she was meant to return to the space where she had an aerobics business 17 years earlier.
"It's going to be an asset to the town for the services it's providing," Selectman Ron Derosiers said. "Not only for the well people but for the people who need healing."
Of the two businesses, opening on the same day, Selectman Scott Kuhnly said, "These are the types most of the citizens are looking for."
As they serve the Granby community, Han Asian Cuisine and New Beginnings are expecting good luck, ushered in, in part by three lions.
"The music is so loud it is trying to make the bad luck and demons go away," explained Tse. "They do the ceremony outside the building and inside the building in each and every corner, then the premises will be blessed."
Look for more detailed stories about the two businesses on Patch.