Jade Fountain Posts

Iconic Jade Fountain will see new life in West Duluth

Kai Soderberg stands outside the Jade Fountain restaurant at 305 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth. Soderberg is leasing the space where he will open a tiki bar this summer. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

A long-running and largely unchanged Chinese restaurant — which closed for almost five years — will be reborn under new ownership as a tiki lounge when nightlife returns to normal in Duluth.

Jade Fountain closed; Gannucci’s expansion planned

Gannucci's Italian Market and Jade Fountain

Within six months of acquiring the Jade Fountain, Bill Kalligher locked the big red doors to the iconic Chinese restaurant. He reached the decision in September, fed up with a dirty kitchen he says he’s still trying to clean, alleged poor product quality from food suppliers and a box filled with bounced checks from customers.

Jade Fountain purchased by owner of neighboring restaurant

Jade Fountain

Bill KalligherBill Kalligher has been owner of Gannucci’s Italian Market for four years. During that time the three-decades old West Duluth eatery expanded in both size and scope, and in October was featured on the cable television show Diners, Drive-in and Dives. Last week Kalligher expanded his holdings by acquiring one of the area’s oldest restaurants, Jade Fountain.

Located at 305 N. Central Ave., two doors down from Gannucci’s, Jade Fountain has been a staple in West Duluth since George Wong opened it in 1968. Wong sold it in 1997 to Sick Cheung Lee, who had just immigrated to the United States. Lee died in November and his widow Kwok Chun Mak was looking to sell.