“CJ Chan provides delicious food with a smile and serves the best sushi in Dayton,” testified Alex DeJulius, a University of Dayton senior studying Finance and Economics, who definitely can be considered a regular at this venue since its opening last November. From the outside, it may appear like your typical take-out Chinese restaurant, but step inside their doors, and you realize this experience is anything but typical.
CJ Chan has been open for exactly one year this month. This cozy little restaurant is owned by Him Chan and Juan Zhang; I had the pleasure of sitting down with Juan this last Friday to get some behind-the-scenes perspective. The couple is very hospitable and truly cares about providing for the customer’s needs. Because of this, their restaurant focuses on three main aspects: the best selection, the in-house dining experience, and affordable prices. All three of these things bundled into one enjoyable meal makes for some pretty good eats.
ONLY THE BEST—that’s what you can expect from the selection at CJ Chan. This restaurant is both Chinese and Japanese. Juan explained to me that the name CJ Chan actually stems from this: C for Chinese, J for Japanese, and Chan for Him’s family name. In offering this dual cultured cuisine, CJ Chan stands apart from any other restaurant in the Dayton area. The couple decided their restaurant needed to offer the customer with more choice. Their menu offers over eighty dishes “ranging from the traditional Chinese favorites and innovative specialties to classic from across Asia.” The kitchen at CJ Chan also prides themselves on using only the freshest, most natural ingredients, which further enhances the quality of their selection. The menu also gives customers the option to create-your-own dish, ensuring satisfaction. Located up the hill from the University of Dayton, the owners’ choice to include beer and wine on the menu was also very intuitive. Their food—arguably the most important part of a restaurant—is only complemented by the dining atmosphere this eatery provides.
QUALITY SERVICE—CJ Chan’s in-house dining experience offers you just that, the second key to running a successful restaurant. Juan and Him didn’t want a typical Asian restaurant; they wanted to provide unbeatable service in a setting that is comfortable and enjoyable for the customer. CJ Chan is mainly a sit-in restaurant, though they do provide call-in and pick-up service for those with busy lifestyles. Okay, who am I kidding? We all have busy lifestyles nowadays, but the festive wooden furniture and Chinese and Japanese decorations that line CJ Chan’s walls, as well as the employees’ smiling faces, coax you to sit down and stay a while; and believe you me, you won’t regret it. When I had the chance to sample some of CJ Chan’s selection, I was amazed at how quickly the food was brought to our table. The presentation, by no means, looked rushed, either. Their timely service, as well as accommodating staff make you feel at ease and satisfied, which quite frankly makes it a lot easier to truly enjoy their food. Sure, it may be nice to go to a fast-food restaurant where you can get your grub and go, but those restaurants only care about that one thing: fast service. Wouldn’t it be more worth your time and money to be able to have timely service at a restaurant where the quality of their cuisine is just as important as the time it takes for your meal to be placed in front of you?
AFFORDABLE PRICES—The last of the trifecta embodied at CJ Chan. The owners wanted their customers to be fully satisfied, and this really wouldn’t be possible if they were being offered the best service and best food, but their wallets were still being torn to shreds. So CJ Chan focuses on providing affordable prices for quality meals. Juan emphasized how they specifically focused on making sushi affordable, it being something that many people love but can’t afford to eat on a regular basis. For busy families and the average poor college student, CJ Chan’s prices won’t rob your piggy bank and the food and service will be more than worthy of the price.
As is expected of any business, competition is present for CJ Chan, but “within this first year, the business has been pretty good,” explained Juan. As the word spreads about the whole package this cozy eatery is offering, their consumer base continues to grow. Juan mentioned how they are hoping to expand their restaurant to include the next door property sometime next year; this would offer more dining space for customers and allow their kitchen to grow as well. I’m excited to watch the size of this restaurant grow in the upcoming years, but it is questionable if it is even possible for CJ Chan’s physical size to match the size of the amount of care that truly goes into this business.
Many say, “Good things happen in three’s.” This holds true for CJ Chan, but the only true way to understand the excellence of this trifecta is through experience. So next time you’re craving Asian cuisine, stop on in and stay awhile. They are located conveniently on Wilmington Avenue, and their healthy, affordable Chinese and Japanese concoctions are sure to put a smile on your face and keep some green in your pocket.
In the words of my wise father—“That’s all I got to say, and I’m stickin’ to it!”
CJ Chan is located at 536 Wilmington Ave Dayton OH 45420.