Longtime restaurateurs plan new venture

Little Asia is set to open in February. (Photos by Michael Thompson)

Little Asia is set to open in February. (Photos by Michael Thompson)

Henrico is getting a new Asian fusion restaurant.

Wenky and Alex Chen leased 2,400 square feet at 3991 Glenside Dr. across from the Staples Mill Shopping Center. They plan to open Little Asia in February.

Little Asia will serve traditional and specialty items from Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese cuisine. Lunch will cost about $6, and dinner will run from about $7 to $12. Wenky Chen said the space has been used for Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants in the past.

Alex, left, and Wenky Chen.

Alex, left, and Wenky Chen.

“We’ve completely transformed it,” Wenky Chen said of the space. “It’s a whole new look.”

The Chens got a loan to help with the makeover and expect the cost of launching Little Asia to run about $150,000. Construction began in November, and Chen said she and her husband started from scratch, installing everything from new toilets in the restrooms to new tables in the dining room.

The Chens have years of experience running small eateries across Richmond. They have owned and operated Chinese restaurants in the past and own frozen yogurt shops in Goochland and in Glen Allen. They are trying to sell the yogurt shops so they can put more of their time into their newest venture.

“We’ve been doing restaurants for 15 years,” Wenky Chen said. “We want to go back to our field.”

The Chens aren’t the only restaurateurs looking to tap into the area’s appetite for eastern fare: Foo Dog is slated to open in April at 1537 W. Main St., and a second Mom’s Siam is set to open in March in Shockoe Slip.

Little Asia's new home at 3991 Glenside Dr.

Little Asia’s new home at 3991 Glenside Dr.

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