BLOOMINGTON — While the original Grand Cafe restaurant undergoes renovations, an express-style location will open later this month on Oakland Avenue in Bloomington.
“We did this move because we don’t want to lose our cooks. We want to retain them and give them employment in the meantime. Of course, we also did it for the Grand Cafe customers. Some of them are having egg roll withdrawals,” said Jimmy Mapugay, new owner of Bloomington's Grand Cafe.
The express restaurant will fill the space at 2205 E. Oakland Ave., formerly Red Sun Chinese restaurant that closed June 30.
Mapugay said the new restaurant will open in late July or early August. It will seat 44 people and will offer dine-in, carryout and delivery. Tentative hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, likely opening later on Saturdays.
Former Grand Cafe chefs will serve menu favorites, said Mapugay, like egg rolls and sada steak. Staples from Red Sun and new Filipino dishes also will be served.
"The Filipino-style pork barbecue — marinated in Jimmy's special sauce, grilled on a skewer and paired with rice — will be one of the crowd's favorites," said Mapugay.
He said the express restaurant will remain open for lunch only after renovations to the original location are complete.
“This will cater to the east side of town. Eventually we will close at 2 p.m. so we can drive traffic to our bigger place for dinner,” he said.
Meanwhile, renovations to the original Grand Cafe are at a standstill until funding is secured, said Mapugay, which "will take a while."
“As soon as funding is available, we’re ready to roll. We already have all the bids from contractors. The work would take 60 to 90 days,” he said.