The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 2, 2014

Hong Kong Buffet still open, but looking for future home

JOHNSTOWN — Hong Kong Buffet manager Adam Chen knows the day is coming when a large pharmacy chain will be operating on the ground where his restaurant is now.

But he said there are no plans to close the buffet-style Chinese restaurant until the end of the year – and the buffet’s owners are hopeful that they’ll be able to find a new Richland Township location by the time that day comes.

“Our lease doesn’t expire until the end of the year, and we are still here – still open,” said Chen during an interview inside the 1206 Scalp Ave. eatery.

He said he’s been getting calls and questions from customers about the restaurant’s status ever since plans were announced in the fall that a CVS Pharmacy will likely replace it on the lot it has occupied for nearly a decade.

“We probably get questions 1,000 times a week,” Chen said. “It never stops.”

If given the choice, restaurant operators would rather stay put, “but we know we can’t win (against CVS). They are a big company,” he added.

The restaurant occupies the former Jolly Roger location.

It’s a site slated for demolition to make room for the CVS Pharmacy – Cambria County’s first – once the project clears regulatory hurdles.

Richland Township’s planning commission approved a site plan for the project late last year.

It appears the development’s engineers are still navigating the plans through the state permit process, which requires environmental and highway occupancy clearances before work can begin, Richland Zoning Officer Dave Mills said Thursday.

All permits must be secured before CVS developers could begin demolition or site construction, he noted.

David Hurst covers Richland Township for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tddavidhurst.

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