Far East Chinese restaurant sees most business ever following Irma

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SARASOTA – Far East Chinese on Honore opened Monday morning following Irma’s passing over the Suncoast.

Customers had no idea what they were walking into.

“I don’t think I’ve ever waited this long for Chinese food in my life,” Sarasota resident Mike Mansfield said.

“I like Chinese food. Mike is a little ‘ehh’ about it, but I was happy to see they were open,” Osprey resident Chris Hall said.

The wait for food: about two hours, depending on when you got there.

“I think I came in at 10:30, and I hadn’t even looked up to see anybody,” Far East employee May Jang said.

The restaurant wasn’t planning to open; they just came in Monday morning to check if they had power following the storm.

“There’s power, there’s water, there’s gas, so they decided to open,” Jang said.

The response they got was unlike anything they’ve ever seen. They started running out of food and had to take a break from delivery orders.

“This is worse than being at the hot dog beer line at the Buccaneers stadium,” Mansfield said. “It’s just crazy.”

He was hungry, but patient, with his best friend by his side.

“We’ve known each other since 1978,” Hall said. “We’ve always come back together. It’s just a long-term friendship.”

The restaurant: overwhelmed and stressed, but grateful.

“I’m so thankful everybody is safe and that we were able to open,” Jang said.

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Hallie Peilet
Hallie Peilet is an Indiana University graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in music. She has had experience in several media outlets. Previously, she interned for WCIU-TV in Chicago, learning about production and live reporting. During her senior year at IU, she worked as a reporter and anchor for her campus news station, and as a multimedia journalist for WTIU/WFIU, the PBS/NPR affiliate in Bloomington. She grew up just outside of Chicago in Munster, Indiana, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new music, and watching Chicago sports. If you have an idea for a story, e-mail her at hallie.peilet@snntv.com.