Business

Chinese eatery transforms into 7th Avenue Steakhouse

Min Chen, co-owner of the 7th Avenue Steakhouse with Dan Cummings of barbecue fame, poses in the spacious and classically decorated dining room. Its grand opening is today, July 16. - Sequim Gazette photo by Patricia Morrison Coate
Min Chen, co-owner of the 7th Avenue Steakhouse with Dan Cummings of barbecue fame, poses in the spacious and classically decorated dining room. Its grand opening is today, July 16.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette photo by Patricia Morrison Coate

In transforming the Chinese Gardens, a 30-year fixture in Sequim, to the 7th Avenue Steakhouse, co-owner Min Chen went through the usual flurry of a monthlong remodeling.

However, she also experienced a cultural transition in switching from the Chinese food she knows and loves to unfamiliar American food, even down to learning how to spell and pronounce some American cuisine staples.

Her parents had worked for her in-laws at the Chinese Gardens for a decade and she wanted to make it possible for them to retire. That’s when Dan Cummings, former owner of Danny’s, known for its barbecue, pitched Chen the idea of turning the restaurant into a family style barbecue/steakhouse place.

“At that moment, it was kind of scary because I only grew up with Chinese food. I thought, ‘Can I do that — something that I don’t know?’ But I decided it was worth it for me to try,” Chen said.

“It was a tough transition for her,” said Cummings, the other co-owner in the venture, who’s doing double duty as one of three chefs. Fortunately, he knew the food business inside and out, having been in it in varying capacities since 1968.

Since opening in late June, the pair hasn’t been disappointed in the number of customers coming through — both have loyal followings — despite a few “growing pains” common to new restaurant start-ups. They ask that customers bear with them while they seek to improve every day.

“It’s my family job,” Chen said. “Customers, friends and family always have supported me as much as they could. I’m so appreciative of what they do for me. What else can I ask for?”

The steakhouse has an extensive menu because, according to Chen, “Danny wants to make everybody happy.” By perusing the substantial menu, it’s clear that Cummings achieved his goal.

The steakhouse offers six varieties of half-pound gourmet burgers, soups and salads, five cold sandwiches, six country dinners, broasted chicken by the piece or bucket, nine types of corn-fed Angus steak, slow-roasted prime rib, eight seafood entrees, St. Louis-style barbecued ribs, barbecue combo platters, five kinds of barbecue sandwiches from chicken, ham, pork and beef, pastas and specialities like Chicken Marsala and Bistecca Alla Florentina.

Barbecue master Cummings smokes pork ribs, port butts, brisket and chicken in the restaurant’s own computerized smoker for his barbecue fare and he can cook 500 pounds of different meats at a time.

“We’ve been busier than expected,” Chen said of the steakhouse’s first two weeks in business. “Every night we’re packed. Everybody said Sequim needed a steakhouse.”

“There’s a diverse population in Sequim — a lot of seniors — but they want the best for  fair price,” Cummings added.

Today’s grand opening will usher in standard business hours of 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday with a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

“We will be serving a full-service brunch with carving and waffle stations included. Mimosas also will be available,” Cummings said.

“Good food, good service, good portions and good quality is what we try to do every time with every meal,” Chin said. “I still want to thank our customer friends because without them there’s no way we would have this restaurant today.”

The 7th Avenue Steakhouse is tucked into the corner west of Rodda Paint.

 

7th Avenue Steakhouse

Where: 271 S. Seventh Ave., Sequim

Call: 683-4825

Hours: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday brunch


 

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