Truman Restaurant Gets New Owners
TRUMAN, MN - The American dream is alive and well in Truman.
Johnny Vuong and his wife Jiailing came to this country from China in the 1980s. They moved to Minnesota in 2000, after living in Los Angeles. For over 25 years he worked in a variety of positions in the restaurant industry, most recently at the Perkins in Fairmont.
Elliot Belgard, a commissioner for Martin County, recounted how they found Vuong: "People come in there [Perkins] to eat just to because he's there to wait on them. I'm thinking, yeah right, and then I call my daughter afterward that works at Perkins and she says, 'Oh, you mean Johnny! They do come there just to see him', and that's kind of when I thought this will work."
Vuong wanted to start his own Chinese food restaurant, and the Truman Development Corporation just happened to have one to sell. The corporation had been running China House Cafe for the last 13 years. The property owner recently deeded the restaurant to the organization. Truman Development Corporation did not want to be in the business of running a restaurant forever.
Many different agencies worked together to make the sale happen, and bring the building back up to code. Vuong bought the restaurant for $1, on the condition that if he has to sell it within 10 years, he must sell it back to the Truman Development Corporation for $1.
Marcia Haley from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, said: "We want to keep businesses going and being successful in our area and so this was a super opportunity to have that chance to do it."
After years of uncertainty, Truman residents are glad the restaurant is back open and in good hands.
Johnny Vuong, the new owner of China House Cafe, said: "Everybody is just, thumbs up! I'm very very happy, very very satisfied with the result."