AYER -- Ayer's newest Chinese restaurant is up and running, replacing the former Ah Gin Wong at 210 West Main Street with a sit-down environment and even a bar.
Owner Dayuan Lin and his manager Steven Zheng have over 20 years of restaurant experience combined, operating restaurants in Vermont and New Hampshire before moving to Ayer.
Lin opened China Paris in Vermont in 2006 and landed on a top 100 list for Chinese restaurants in the U.S., Zheng said.
But business slowed down and the restaurant was too big to take care of, he said. They looked for a smaller space and came to Antrim, New Hampshire, where Lin opened Ginger House.
Zheng said the nice, quiet town was a good location for a Chinese restaurant.
"A small town, easy to take care of -- like here," he said.
Lin decided to retire after he sold the restaurant in New Hampshire, Zheng said, but he still wanted to do more. He began looking at places near Boston, where he lives.
The food is Mandarin- and Szechuan-style, featuring favorites such as crab rangoons.
Zheng and Lin came to the U.S. in 1989 and 1992 from the southern part of China, coincidentally from the same county. Zheng said he started working for Lin when he opened his first restaurant.
"He doesn't speak English, so he needs people to take care of the front, to take care of customers," he said.
Although another Chinese restaurant, Wok N Roll, is just over a mile away, Zheng said they are not worried about competition.
"We're sure we can make it better," he said.
Follow Amelia on Twitter and Tout @AmeliaPakHarvey.