Dec 022013

Never heard of this place, but apparently a lot of people in Oak Ridge are fond of it:

The New China Palace was established in September 1973 by Chuang Nan Chou and served authentic Chinese, Mandarin-Peking Hunan, and Szechuan style food.

Over the years, it became well-known in the Oak Ridge and Knoxville area and to many customers from other countries who came to Oak Ridge to visit the government facilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex, the K-25 plant, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. A large customer base developed, and the restaurant prospered.

In 2010, the City of Oak Ridge delivered a letter to the New China Palace saying their lease for the city building at the Oak Ridge Marina would not be renewed. Ideas for developing a facility for rowing and a “casual restaurant” were mentioned as the reason for this sudden change of heart by their landlord. This was announced in the newspapers and caused a huge negative reaction by their customers.

We drew up a petition for the Chou family to use in soliciting help from their customers in convincing the city that there were great numbers of people who did not agree with this decision. More than 3,200 people signed the petition, and this was presented to the City Council and city manager….

After several months of searching, they settled on a location in the famous Jackson Square area….

The city was again very helpful with extensions to the old lease. There are many changes to the old Village building—a drive by take-out window, plus a separate room for special meetings and celebrations. The new interior is beautiful with much of the “old” Palace decorations and a newly designed ceiling using the tiles from the former location.

The second oldest restaurant in Oak Ridge will be back for another “35-plus years of great food,” Ren said.

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