Inside a Chinese restaurant on the east side of Owensboro, a group of residents gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Saturday was the Chinese New Year, which is the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar.
Daisy Huang, 44, invited friends and a handful of patrons to celebrate the holiday her family at the family-owned restaurant Chop Stick.
On the menu were authentic, homemade traditional Chinese foods. There were stir-fried lobster and sticky rice, a sweet black-bean paste dish, seasoned rice cake, sea snails, duck, and much more.
Huang, a mild-mannered woman who spoke minimal English, said she has hosted this small celebration for many years since the restaurant opened in 2015.
The guests showed up at the restaurant after hours and took turns going around the table and introducing themselves.
Husband and wife Jimmy and Claudia Abrams said they were honored to have been invited to witness this unique experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Claudia said. “I actually read about it before I came here “I’m honored to be here and I just feel overwhelmed.”
Jimmy said he and his wife are frequent customers at Chop Stick. The couple said they’ve tried hard to connect with Huang despite the language barrier. Jimmy said he uses a google translate app to talk to Huang.
“They have a great big heart,” Claudia said. “I wish I understood the language.”
Josie Hayden, 52, another loyal customer and friend of Huang echoed Claudia’s thought.
“She’s welcoming and a really kind and loving person,” Hayden said. “I’ve never felt so comfortable. She’s like a sister to me.”