The new Jade Fountain tiki bar has its grand opening scheduled for Friday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. The space will be limited to 50 patrons at a time due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Drinks will be pre-made for additional safety.
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.
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.
Bill 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.