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China Pearl reopens after delay

China Pearl, 115 Brooklawn St., has reopened its doors, more than two months after its previous location was demolished.

“I don’t know what exactly the delay was … some permit problems, maybe the weather,” said Sam Yap, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Cindy.

The long wait for customers was due to some permitting and construction delays, Yap said, adding since the restaurant had reopened, he’d heard nothing but good things from patrons.

“Since we opened on Tuesday [Nov. 24], we’ve been very, very busy. All these customers have been so supportive,” Yap said.

“They walk in, they say ‘Oh, yay!’”

“We really appreciate it; they’re very supportive,” he added.

Yap said customers could expect some additions to the menu.

New items include a selection of seafood dishes, as well as additional types of curries.

“We added Thai curry, yellow curry, green curry, panang curry,” Yap said.

“For those curry lovers, this is paradise,” he added with a laugh.

China Pearl has kept its drive thru and has added a catering menu for its banquet room.

“We also have the set menu designed for like a party of 10 … very typical of Asian people, when they have a wedding.

“This is very suitable for them, it’s a 10-course meal,” Yap said.

China Pearl also will serve traditional Hong Kong Dim Sum, a wide range of light dishes served with Chinese tea, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Dim Sum will not begin for a few more weeks, allowing restaurant employees to accustom themselves to the process and the additional menu items.

“It’s small dishes that are usually served at brunch time. It’s very popular in Asia,” Yap said.

“They serve it on a steaming cart that goes around the dining room. And at the table, the customer chooses what he wants,” he added.

More than 50 small dishes will be available for Dim Sum. The restaurant’s Web site will announce when the restaurant will begin to serve it.

The new China Pearl seats 120, including its new private dining room, which seats about 50.

China Pearl is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday.

“When we have the Dim Sum, we’ll open one hour earlier” on the weekends, Yap said.

Sam calls the restaurant a family business. His son, Bryan, also works there.

Sam has owned several Chinese restaurants in the Greater Knoxville area since the mid-1980s. China Pearl was founded in 1991.

“We’ve been here 18 years,” Yap said.

For more information, visit or call 865-966-6937.


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