Dim Sum Restaurant opened this week at 3843 River Road N, the former Blooming Cuisine location. The owners are the husband and wife duo of Jian Zhuang Ma and Ximei Huang, who also run John’s Chinese at 4842 River Road.
Much about their new building has been changed.
From the road, things look far different. The distinctive lattices that previously adorned the building are gone, in addition to new paint.
Huang said on Monday the couple got the building in March.
“My husband looked at it,” she said. “It is hard to remodel. We thought, ‘How are we going to make it look the way we want it?’ We found someone with an idea.”
The change isn’t limited to the exterior.
“Inside took a long time,” Huang said. “We changed the whole thing. It doesn’t look like before. It’s really different.”
Other notable changes are the Dim Sum Restaurant sign and, of course, the menu.
“Dim sum is real Chinese food,” Huang said. “It’s finger food. It’s very neat. We thought it would be good to try it. I suggested maybe we do dim sum because some of our customers (at John’s) had asked for it. They are such pretty dishes.”
According to Huang, the wheels were set into motion a couple of years ago.
“The owners of Blooming Cuisine wanted to retire and called us to see if we’d ever thought to open another restaurant. Then they came again (earlier this year) and Jian decided to take it.”
Huang knows the new venture won’t be an easy undertaking.
“It’s a challenge,” she said. “We’ll see if it works.”
Huang appeared before Keizer City Councilors on Monday, since she was applying to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for a liquor license at Dim Sum. Councilors unanimously approved the request and forwarded it to the OLCC.
Council president Joe Egli was impressed with the number of changes done to the restaurant.
“You’ve done a great job on the building,” Egli said.
Huang noted Dim Sum fills a niche.
“You will have many choices, for the different kind of people who like it,” she said. “It’s the only one in Keizer. It’s a little different than (American) Chinese food. Hopefully you will like it.”
Mayor Lore Christopher is familiar with dim sum food, having tried it previously in New York.
“I love dim sum,” she said. “I’m so excited.”
Huang said the hours for now will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., though her application lists hours being between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. most days, opening at 11:30 a.m. on the weekends and staying open until 10 p.m. on Fridays.
“We may be open earlier in the future, maybe around 9 or 10 (a.m.),” she said. “Dim sum for Chinese people is breakfast.”
A party is being planned to celebrate Keizer’s first public mural.
The mural on the west wall of Keizer Florist at 631 Chemawa Road NE was completed recently by artist Colleen Goodwin-Chronister. The mural will be dedicated on Wednesday, Oct. 1.
“We will have chairs and tables out,” mayor Lore Christopher said during a recent Keizer Arts Commission meeting. “We want to do it at Julie (Wallace’s) business, but if the weather is terrible we will do it in the living room right out here (at Keizer Civic Center). It will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m.”
Christopher, chair of the new Arts Commission, noted Chronister will be among those on hand.
“We’ll introduce Colleen and have her tell why she chose and what she chose. We’ll tell about our next project and have Julie speak. We would need this building open afterwards, like at 6:30.”
Christopher is hoping for artists to get in touch with Arts Commission members. She’d like to see work on display at Keizer Civic Center for October through the end of the year.
“We’re doing a call for artists,” the mayor said. “It could be a potpourri if people want to do it together. It’s a huge space to fill, with room for 63 potential pieces.”
Christopher said she’d be open to the idea of three artists bringing in 20 pieces of art each. Artists wanting to put on an art show could do so for free.
The current colored pencil art display at city hall is scheduled to be taken down in late September. Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizear, suggested having that art stay.
“The process of getting (pieces of art) hung takes a couple of days,” Brown said. “Maybe you could ask if the colored pencil people could leave their stuff up another day or so.”
Arts Commission member Rick Day suggested city officials could put together information to give to artists, such as giving dimensions and showing what the area looks like.
“There are a whole bunch of things we can do in advance to help the artists,” Day said.
Day suggested sites for future murals, such as the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater.
“I would want to explore other locations that are more visible,” Christopher said.
When Day asked if commission members had possible future mural sites, Christopher mentioned the Sherwin Williams building on River Road.
“I think it would be a terrific location, absolutely fabulous,” she said. “Now that we’re part of the Arts Commission, we can think of sites.”
Christopher suggested other locations, such as utility boxes.
“We can go out and say we want to paint boxes, bring us your proposals,” she said. “We will have artists coming out of the woodwork willing to do it.”
Beth Melendy agreed with the idea.
“People wouldn’t expect it,” Melendy said. “They would think it’s so cool.”