A new Galaxy? Signs indicate Craig’s Chinese restaurant will reopen
April 11, 2017
Craig — A simple handwritten note on the glass door of the building seeking to hire waiters and waitresses was the first sign of activity since health inspectors closed The Galaxy Chinese Restaurant in Craig last year.
The restaurant located at 524 Yampa Ave. is preparing to re-open under new operators with a new menu and a new name — Spicy Basil.
"We need to finish cleaning and have the health inspection before opening," said owner Saizhen Lin via her son Ricky Li who acted as interpreter.
Routine health inspections in 2016 resulted in violations that closed The Galaxy restaurant down.
"We want to do what we can to help business be successful. We had to take the unfortunate step (of closing The Galaxy)," said Troy Huffman, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment retail food program coordinator.
The business changed hands in December, Lin said.
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According to the Moffat County Assessor’s Office, the building at 524 Yampa Ave is stilled owned by Ling Yan Zhang and was valued at $69,277 in 2016. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact Zhang or his associates to learn if the building was also sold.
New owner-operators are not required to go through the formalized hearing process that would have been required if the last operators, Jenny and Wen Wu, had wanted to re-open the Galaxy.
However health inspectors are performing onsite inspections prior to permitting the facility to re-opening.
"That's not something we typically do as we don't want to hold businesses up. In this case we felt that prior to opening we wanted to do a pre-open. It's another level we are allowed to do and we wanted to add it," Huffman said.
New carpets were laid, equipment has been upgraded and changes were made to the infrastructure and the facility.
"A lot of it was completely gutted," Huffman said.
While Huffman was unsure of the time frame, pre-opening inspection reports will become available to the public once they are complete.
Lin owns two other Spicy Basil restaurants, one on Broadway in Denver and a second in Englewood.
"Our Chinese restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients," states the Spicy Basil website.
It remains to be seen if the changes will be enough to bring customers back, but health inspectors are optimistic.
"We are really excited about where they are at with the facility and the direction they are headed with it," Huffman said.