Jade Court closing doors in one month
FOR 35 years Jim Lam and his partners Daniel and Gordon have run Dalby’s most iconic and longest-standing Chinese restaurant.
“Right from the first day, everyone in Dalby was so supportive of us,” Jim Lam, said.
Now aged 70, Mr Lam is putting up his apron and shutting Jade Court’s doors, unless a buyer can swoop in and purchase the restaurant within a month.
“It has been for sale for six months, but we haven’t found the perfect person to take it over,” he said.
“If we can’t find someone new in a month, we will close.”
Mr Lam said he will only sell the restaurant on to the right team. That means a group who will keep the restaurant running in the same way Jim, Gordon and Daniel have for so long.
“I won’t let someone come in and ruin it,” he said.
“I want to keep it in good name.”
The idea of the restaurant came about in a way most good ideas do – in the pub.
Mr Lam visited Dalby 36 years ago, and got chatting to some locals at Mary’s Commercial Hotel.
“They didn’t corner me,” Mr Lam laughed.
“But they urged me to stay and open a Chinese restaurant.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
While his wife stayed in Hong Kong, he and his two business partners set up Dalby’s first Chinese restaurant.
Three years later his wife and children came over and went to school in Dalby.
“When I came to Dalby there was so much support; people wanted a decent restaurant,” Mr Lam said.
He said he would even be happy if a local team was willing to learn the ropes of the restaurant business and carry on Jade Courts’ legacy.
“I can teach someone to come in and run the place,” he said.
“And for free. I can help.”
He said the most difficult aspect of selling the restaurant has been finding a new owner who can bring a whole team to Dalby.
“It needs a whole food team, not just a new owner,” Mr Lam said.
“It’s a 130 seat, fully licensed restaurant, and that’s a lot of work.”
He also thanked all of the customers who have been coming back to Jade Court over his 35 years in business.
“I have enjoyed my job and always been happy,” he said.
“We want to just say a big thank you for all the support.”