The Dumpling House still undergoing restoration, remodeling after fire damage
Six months after The Dumpling House was damaged by a fire, repairs are still underway. The source of the fire was the attic of 117 E Street, a property that is being developed into a restaurant by the owners of the Dumpling House. The fire was caused by electrical issues in the upcoming restaurant Little Bao Bao. Although no employees or customers were hurt during the fire, it forced the restaurant to close for restoration.
The Dumpling House is not slated to open for another three to six months, according to owner Linda Liu. The Dumpling House’s recorded phone message states that the Sacramento location is still open and that anyone who wishes to can place an order there.
Information found by a quick Google search, however, may be misleading. For the past couple of months, the Yelp page for the Dumpling House had posted a slated reopening date for Oct. 22. The Dumpling House location on E Street has a printed sheet of paper posted on the window stating that it is still closed.
“Just last week, my friend had heard that the Dumpling House had reopened and also I looked it up on Yelp and Google and it said they were open […] and on the way I had asked my friends to call because we wanted to order takeout,” said Simon Santos, a second-year cinema and digital media major at UC Davis. “But no one answered the phone, and it was just a woman who was saying that they were temporarily going under renovation, — please text us at this number at this Sacramento location — and we were very confused.”
Liu said that the construction is taking longer than originally planned because it is a slow process to receive permits from the city, which the Dumpling House needs in order to reopen. Liu anticipates that these permits will be acquired in approximately one month.
DH construction company has been working with the restaurant to make the grand reopening as smooth as possible, but Liu stated that the actual restoration can’t begin until the company receives the permit. While the total cost of repair and remodeling is estimated to be between $200,000 and $300,000, it will all be covered by insurance.
Meanwhile, food from the Dumpling House can be spotted every Wednesday at the Farmers Market under the restaurant’s white tent. There, one can find employees from the Sacramento location, along with former employees of the Davis location, cooking the dumplings.
According to Ivy Mai, an employee of the Dumpling House, working at the tent is no different from working at the store because the customers are the same.
“I think that we have so many customers that used to go to Dumpling House,” Mai said. “They are so happy that we are here.”
In the future, Liu plans to open a new restaurant next to the Dumpling House and London Fish n’ Chips which will serve bao — Chinese steamed buns. “Little Bao Bao” will be opening in the summer of 2019, around the same time as the reopening of the Dumpling House.
In the meantime, Liu is preparing and refining the restaurant’s existing recipes. Additionally, she’s looking at furniture and supplies for their new restaurant.
“We’d like to have a new place — where everything is brand new and clean — to serve Davis and the community and to do a better job,” Liu said. “And right now, I’m [doing] a lot of shopping to get all good recipes and to learn a lot. We will still have dumplings, but we’ll have something new on the menu.”
Liu also mentioned that students are welcome to apply to work at the new restaurant, once it opens.
“For [the] future, we like to give some students the opportunity for the jobs, and we also plan to help some of the students,” Liu said. “Some of the students really need help — we have help, we want to give something to the community and [UC Davis].”
Written by: Hannan Waliullah — email@example.com