THE owner of family-run restaurant, which faced closure after developers were given the go-ahead to demolish it, has spoken of his relief after starting “afresh” with the opening of new premises.

Ben Tsoi, who ran MyAsia in Northallerton for almost six years, previously told The Northern Echo that his family had been left feeling “depressed” and “extremely worried” when developers announced plans to redevelop the site on Romanby Court.

Mr Tsoi, who lives in the town with his wife and their 13-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, said he would be forced to fold his family business if Hambleton District Council approved plans to convert the site into a mix of flats and shops.

The Northern Echo:

Ben Tsoi outside his former premises at Romanby Court

Earlier this year, planning committee members formally approved the application submitted on behalf of the Mandale Group, leaving Mr Tsoi no option but to serve his notice and vacate the site.

But days later, Mr Tsoi managed to secure an agreement with another landlord who offered him a lease without fees allowing him to remain trading.

Last week, Mr Tsoi opened his new restaurant under the new name ‘Kam Bo House’, translating to Gold Treasure House in Chinese.

The Northern Echo:

Remaining in the town as its “only Chinese restaurant”, the family spent the past few weeks refurbishing and moving equipment into the new premises on Friarage Street.

Mr Tsoi said: “It’s taken a lot of time rearranging everything at the premises to be similar to how it was previously – we had to try and remember where everything was.”

The restaurant owner, who was also able to keep his two-part time staff and wife employed through the new deal, said teething problems were in the process of being ironed out.

“Since we moved business is going steady, it’s not as busy as we hoped – I think some customers may have struggled to find us, but we’re quite confident we will get them back in time.”

The Northern Echo:

The former MyAsia brand, coined by Mr Tsoi, had existed in the town from its inception at Romanby Court.

But following the relocation, Mr Tsoi said the new location opposite Marks & Spencer’s Food Hall had helped with passing trade.

He said: “The new premises is slightly smaller but we’ve been able to restart our really successful buffet, which we used to do every Wednesday.

"We are all relieved, there was a lot of pressure on us last year – we’ve changed names to start afresh.”