In this week’s Restaurant Report Card, redemption for a Colorado Springs Chinese restaurant that recently failed due to a marginal health inspection.
China Village invited FOX21 to bring a camera inside the kitchen, to show that everything checks out.
“This inspection was abnormal,” said Lancy Hwu, daughter of the owners of China Village. “It’s not our usual inspection for sure, and I think that’s why we were able to turn around and get the violations cleared so quickly.”
After a March 12 health inspection at China Village revealed 10 violations, a follow-up inspection on March 25 shows not a single violation, and everything has been corrected.
“We’re not perfect and there’s still things that get missed,” Lancy said. “They were easily corrected and then due to new regulations, now that we know, we’ll continue to improve.”
China VIllage is located on North Union Boulevard, near Bijou Street.
“We’ve been open for 36 years, going on 37 years in May,” Lancy said.
Originally from Taiwan, owner Tian Hwu migrated to New York, finding his love for cooking in Chinatown.
“That’s where he started off as like a dishwasher, then he was a deep fryer, a vegetable cutter, and kind of worked his way up and learned all of his culinary skills over on the east coast,” Lancy said.
A chef position eventually brought Tian to Denver, where he found another love: Michelle, who is also from Taiwan. The couple settled in Colorado Springs, opened China Village in 1982, and started a family. Lancy’s sister, Nina, also grew up helping around the restaurant, and still helps translate for her parents, including during health inspections.
“Growing up I’ve seen how people somewhat treated them a little differently because they’re like ‘I don’t want to try to take that extra mile to try explain something in more simple English for you,'” Lancy said.
Despite language barriers and other struggles, running a successful family business for nearly four decades is something to be proud of.
“We have so many regular customers,” Lancy said. “We’ve seen people bring in their kids or kids that come in that are like 5 years old and now are bringing their wives in, so we have a really tight bond with a lot of our regular customers that have come in for years and even generations, so it’s really touching.”
This is why Restaurant Report Card is giving China Village a second chance.