Jimmy Chanís Restaurant in Baker City ends 25-year run

By Terri Harber, Baker City Herald October 31, 2012 02:12 pm

The longtime owners of a Chinese restaurant in downtown Baker City decided it was time to hang up their woks.

The Chan family operated Jimmy Chan’s Restaurant on Main Street for nearly 25 years. 

Now that the restaurant is closed, Stella Chan “wants to spend time with her grandkids,” said Heather Himmelsbach, who helped manage the restaurant.

They sold the location at 1841 Main St. to a young couple who had been living in Portland, Annie and Jeff Chen.

The Chens are natives of the Canton (now known as Guangdong) province of China. This is the same region where the Chans came from.

Jimmy and Stella Chan emigrated from the same part of China as the Chens did and lived in Portland before moving to Baker City.

Much of the food served at Chinese restaurants in the United States is based on Cantonese recipes modified for American tastes.

Many of the cooks in these restaurants come from that part of China, Himmelsbach pointed out.

She and head cook Kevin Chan plan to take some time off before deciding what to do next.

A hand-printed sign states that the business is closed for remodeling.  

The Chens expect to start cooking in early to mid-November—if all goes well.

The new restaurant is going to be called Mulan Garden.

Jimmy Chan’s first occupied the former site of another longtime Chinese restaurant in Baker City: the Royal Cafe, which was in the 1900 block of Main.

The business moved to the corner of Main Street and Court Avenue after a couple of years.

The restaurant’s namesake, and family patriarch, Jimmy Chan, died in 2009.

“We want to thank the community for their support through the years,” Himmelsbach said.