Recent renovations have brought new customers to a longtime Tiffin business.
Happy Garden Chinese restaurant owners have revamped the decor, entrance, front desk and dining and buffet areas.
Renovations began in May and the restaurant reopened June 9.
"We wanted it to be more warm and friendly for customers and employees," said owner Annie Li, who took over ownership from her cousin three years ago.
A wall was removed, the buffet was extended, and a television and soft-serve ice cream machine were added. The dining area was opened up, giving customers and employees more room.
The restaurant has seen a difference in business since reopening.
"Business has gotten better," said Li. "We've had new people from Fremont, Fostoria, Clyde, and other customers from surrounding areas."
New items have been added to the menu, as well. Three new house specialties include peanut butter chicken, black pepper chicken and seafood with butter. Two new vegetables choices are butter potatoes and mushrooms with oyster sauce.
The changes are part of Li's goal to provide what her customers request.
She is proud of the traditional Chinese cuisine the restaurant offers because of the number of international students at the local universities.
When it opened more than 20 years ago, Happy Garden was a carry-out only restaurant with mainly local clientele.
"I want to thank the community for their support," Li said. "They have enabled us to renovate and be in a competition to be named one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the U.S.A."
The contest is the seventh annual, sponsored by Chinese Restaurant News. Chinese restaurants nationwide are nominated and judged based on food, decor/atmosphere, service, cleanliness, presentation and value. Customers visit a website to vote for the restaurant they want to be in the top 100.
To vote for Happy Garden, visit top100.chinesemenu.com.