Popular Madison restaurant plans to reopen in mid-June after cra - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Popular Madison restaurant plans to reopen in mid-June after crash

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The owners of Ha Long Bay on Williamson Street are still hurting after their restaurant was wrecked by an SUV, but they're looking forward to rebuilding and opening soon. 

Currently, chef and owner Jean Tran can only visit her dark kitchen. She carefully winds around the place feeling for appliances in the dark since her restaurant doesn't have electricity. 

"I miss the restaurant a lot," she said as she wiped tears from her cheeks.

There's no longer a line of people flowing into her restaurant. All of her tables are empty and her door is locked after a car crashed into the building May 4th. 

"Today, I'm doing OK, but the process is not everything," Tran said. 

She and her relatives, who also work at the restaurant, have spent the last week cleaning up. The bricks and debris both outside and inside the restaurant are now gone. A blue tarp seals a hole in the roof's corner and part of the building is blocked off with wood after the accident left a huge hole. 

Now, Tran is waiting for the construction to begin to fix her building. 

But there's more than the physical damage. Tran lost a freezer full of meat and vegetables, totaling more than 2,000 pounds of food. It was a loss to the Vietnamese and Thai restaurant, but it didn't go to waste. 

"We gave it to some nearby restaurants and then other people who needed it," Tran said. 

But the mass of food was in preparation for a busy graduation weekend. Tran's restaurant was booked with reservations, but those reservations are now canceled. 

"You know, some students are probably excited, like 'Oh, the parents have never been here so they will come for graduation.' That's probably my saddest feeling is that they don't have the chance to bring their parents here," she said. 

However, her Willy Street community is rallying behind her. A customer set up a GoFundMe page to help the Tran family with any expenses. Tran said she was so thankful about the offer to help, but her insurance will cover the cost that totals more than $100,000. 

"I really appreciate it," Tran said as she began to cry. "Deeply from my heart, that just the thought, that means a lot to me."

The GoFundMe page has since been taken down. 

Tran said her employees are like family to her and that's why they will be paid throughout the construction period. 

The rebuilding process is scheduled to begin in two weeks, once the electricity is updated and turned back on. 

Tran hopes to have a grand reopening by mid-June.

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