COLUMBUS — Heavy rain on Wednesday afternoon rendered 23rd Street a river from 33rd Avenue west, with water almost reaching the front of Sears.

Next door to the Sears Hometown Store, Super Buffet Chinese Restaurant and Sushi (formerly Super China Buffet) was having its grand reopening.

Come hell or high water, patrons from far and wide came to check out the restaurant’s new location.

“I know some people have been missing this restaurant,” said manager Dianna Huang.

The previous Super China Buffet, located at 2812 23rd St., and Tracy’s Sportline Auto Sales properties were purchased by Norfolk-based Swanson Properties in December 2016. Swanson owns the Columbus Motor Co. lot at 2806 23rd St. and planned to expand the dealership's display area.

When the Chinese restaurant was forced to leave its previous location in February, a new home at 4306 23rd St. had already been selected.

But it took several months and around $370,000 to turn the building into what it is today.

Steve Grubbs with Lacy Construction Company in Grand Island said the space started as a “dirty, empty shell.”

“It was a mess,” he said.

Plumbing, walls, flooring — everything had to be redone. Grubbs’ crew was still completing last-minute touches Tuesday afternoon, the day before the opening.

The result of that investment is a clean, well-lit restaurant with bright yellow walls.

“I think I can say this is the nicest restaurant in town,” Huang said.

The restaurant's capacity increased from 185 people to 220 after the move.

Along with the extra space, a wider selection of dishes was added, including sushi.

“A lot of people in this town like sushi,” said Huang, who has run the restaurant since it opened about 10 years ago.

Plans also call for televisions to be installed so customers can watch sports while enjoying their meal.

Although the new location has been a big investment for a small restaurant, Huang is optimistic.

“We want to see our old customers and hope our new customers will come see how we are now,” she said.

Super Buffet Chinese Restaurant and Sushi is open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant can be reached at 402-563-2777.

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