MANCHESTER — The owners of Jade Dragon restaurants in Merrimack and Milford will soon open their third location at 1087 Elm St., a space once occupied by the Black Brimmer and its short-lived successor, Blu Night Club Bar and Grill.
For owner Lam Cheung, the Manchester opening is a homecoming of sorts. A city resident for the past 30 years, he previously owned the Cheung Kee in the north end of Manchester on the Daniel Webster Highway.
“My kid kept asking me why we always have to travel so far,” Cheung said, “so opening a place closer to home made sense.”
He and his four partners opened the Jade Dragon in Merrimack six years ago and one in Milford three years ago. The availability of a space like the one at the corner of Elm and Lowell set the stage for their latest venture.
The finishing touches are being put on an extensive interior renovation, Cheung said, and should be completed in time for a “soft opening” next week or soon thereafter.
“We pretty much have redone the whole place, including a full restoration upstairs,” he said. “We wanted to bring it to the level of quality and ambiance we try to achieve.”
The large bar remains in place, but former patrons of the Black Brimmer or Blu will hardly recognize the rest of the interior, he said.
The menu will be very similar to what is offered now in Merrimack and Milford. Cheung described it as “traditional New England Chinese,” with a few twists, including a Japanese-style sushi bar. Prices start at $11 for entrees.
The building owner, Ken Gelinas, has high hopes for his new tenant. After years as the Black Brimmer, a new concept came to the building in September with the opening of Blu, an upscale night club bar and grill. It didn’t catch on, and in late January, the owner decided to cut her losses.
Gelinas believes the owners of Jade Dragon will bring new life to the location.
“They are very experienced and I feel very confident that they will have a successful new business in the downtown area,” he said. “They’ve done some excellent renovations and we are looking forward to their opening.”email@example.com