Some familiar faces are coming back to the restaurant business in Conway, as Luchy and Mery Chuton and their families open Lou-Cho's Chinese Restaurant on Friday, June 7 in the old Chan’s Chinese location.
The Chutons previously owned Conway Chinese Restaurant for 15 years from 1990-2005.
“I’m excited,” Mrs. Chuton said. “I’m happy … I want to see all my old customers!”
Originally from Peru, Mr. Chuton grew up with seven other siblings.
When he was young, his father took the oldest three of the eight children in the family, including him, to China for six years.
“He said ‘we’re going to learn the culture’,” Chuton said.
He said in that time, he learned to speak Cantonese, and learned a lot about Chinese cooking.
He and Mery came to the United States first to San Francisco, then to Queens, N.Y. where they owned a restaurant.
Eventually, Chuton was looking for a way to escape the fast-paced New York lifestyle, and wanted to slow down a bit. An acquaintance of Mr. Chuton’s owned a restaurant in Marion, and offered to let him come down to South Carolina to see how he liked it.
“He told Mom he liked it a lot, and said she should come help him run the restaurant,” their daughter Sandy Cooper said.
Chuton ended up being fond of the Conway area, and eventually landed at Conway Chinese. They have missed the restaurant business, and originally had another location in mind for restarting their establishment.
“We really wanted to find something closer to town,” Cooper said.
Through mutual friends, the family found out Mr. and Mrs. Chan were selling, and the rest is history.
Former customers may be looking forward to Chuton’s famous chicken wings. His recipe is over 35 years old, they said.
“It’s been in our family .. a lot of our customers, that’s what they come back for,” Cooper said.
They said they also have great General Tso’s Chicken, as well as Chicken and Broccoli, too.
Some other dishes they may offer occasionally will have some Asian-Peruvian flair, Mrs. Chuton said.
Lomo Saltado is a dish that is well-known all over Peru, she said, and it has tender beef, along with a savory sauce including tomatoes and onions topped with, unexpectedly, French fries.
Cooper's family and her sister Genee Jordan's family will also be pitching in where they can at Lou-Cho's.
Those who were Chan’s regulars lament the loss of their boneless chicken and gravy recipes, but not to worry, Mr. and Mrs. Chan have passed along those recipes to the Chuton’s to hopefully carry on the dish.
Lou-Cho’s Chinese Restaurant will be open for business on June 7 beginning at 11 a.m. Their regular hours will be Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. They will be open Saturdays from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.