FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A few weeks ago, a local restaurant announced it would close for good. But after an outpouring of support, the owner tells NewsChannel 15 he is going to keep The Mandarin open.
For close to 25 years, Pedro – The Mandarin’s lead chef – has been creating Chinese cuisine in this very kitchen. So, when owner Scott Whiteman announced he’d be turning the lights out on The Mandarin for good, his regulars couldn’t believe it.
“They would literally stop, run in here, and say tell me it’s not true,” Whiteman said, “And the more responses we kept getting like that, we thought we have to give it another try here.”
Whiteman says the worst winter ever also made it difficult for the locally owned and operated business.
“When we had all of the snow days, we were losing three days of business out of the business week. So, right there we were pretty much teetering on what to do.”
You may remember in January, the health department found pests inside The Mandarin. Whiteman says he and his staff had no idea they were there.
“Definitely was a shock to us that we actually had any and then on the invoice from the pest company, they wrote down they couldn’t even find any activity.”
Although odds were not in his favor, Whiteman says he has to stay open for the people who enjoy eating here.
“Definitely took a toll, but we have so many loyal supporters that I feel obligated to try to stay open.”
Whiteman told NewsChannel 15 The Mandarin is on a regular pest control spraying schedule to help curb any potential problems in the future.