Long-Time Carbondale Restaurant Opening in New Location

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By Amy Fox
By Benjy Jeffords

CARBONDALE -- The re-development of the Carbondale strip is impacting businesses beyond the old 710 Book Store site.

New Kahala was right near the site where developers are putting in a five-story building that will have retail space and student housing. For about a month now, the restaurant has been transitioning into its new building along Grand Avenue.

"We've been working real hard, trying to get a new facility up. We closed up shop over there a month ago, and we've been working here trying to get it open," said William Lo, manager at New Kahala. 

For 21 years, the restaurant was just off the Carbondale strip.  Moving away from that longtime location has not been easy.

Lo said, "I was kind of near tears. I started when I was 9, and I'm now 30. So, a lot of age. I grew up there, grew up with the restaurant, all the customers. "

Day by day, the restaurant's new spot on Grand Avenue is feeling more like home.

"We did a lot of demolition because it was a barbecue place before then, so it wasn't suitable for us," explained Lo. "So, we gutted everything. And then, the kitchen, we had to put new hoods, new work ranges, so it's going to be real nice. We got new floor tiles and walls tiles [too]."

The new restaurant is about 1,000 square feet bigger than its old location. Despite a smaller dining room, chefs will soon have more room to prepare food.

Lo said, "We doubled our kitchen size because that's where most of the work is done, so we figured we would give the chefs and stuff more room to work, you know, to put out more food."

With the campus across the street and a good chunk of business coming from delivery orders, Lo isn't worried about customers finding the new location.

"They know where we're at. They have all said a block away is not a big deal. They'll still come out and eat.  It's still the same great food," said Lo.

As New Kahala continues the final push of construction, they're ready to get back to business as usual.

New Kahala hopes to open the doors at its new location sometime Tuesday afternoon. They will operate under their old hours.

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