Magic Wok open under new management

Brianna Parsons, Staff Writer

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Magic Wok went under new ownership as of March 4, 2019. The new owners are Tom Nasghima and Peter Yeung. Prior, the restaurant was owned and operated by Mary Turner. Magic Wok closed in December of 2018, with no plans of it re-opening.

“The landlord of the Magic Wok building knew me personally, so he got ahold of me to come to Wayne to do a trial run of working at Magic Wok,” Yeung said.

It was an easy process getting back into the restaurant business for Yeung; he’d been in the business for 30 years. Nasghima and Yeung are currently leasing the restaurant from the landlord of the building.

“The process to opening under a new management was to get a business license and health permit. My partner, Tom, was out here to help permit all of that,” Yeung said. “We did whatever was necessary to re-open the restaurant.”

According to Yeung, the new management has been good, despite only being open for two weeks.

“We are in the process of waiting and seeing what will happen,” Yeung said. “We have a one-year lease at Magic Wok. The whole experience is different for us, since we are from the California area, so we want to try it out and we will go from here to see how it manages.

“We will manage it on our own, it will just be hard work. I just want to make sure we are doing the right thing ourselves.”

Prior to the new owners, Magic Wok was owned by Turner, her family and a few others within a span of 24 years. Turner’s family moved from Lincoln to Wayne to open a Chinese restaurant.

“My family took a risk of coming to Wayne because 95 percent of businesses fail in a year or less,” Turner said. “If it was easy, then everyone would do it.”

In Lincoln, the business environment was extremely competitive and proved difficult for Mary and her family.

“There was too much competition when it came to Chinese restaurants in Lincoln, so we moved to Wayne, Nebraska,” Turner said. “Wayne did not have a Chinese restaurant, so we moved here to open one.”

Turner’s parents owned Magic Wok since Dec. 12, 1994, when she moved to Wayne with her parents as a freshman in high school.

“My parents owned Magic Wok until July of 2005, and then they retired,” Turner said. “Magic Wok went through four different owners until I tried to run the business myself.”

In April of 2014 Turner and her mother managed Magic Wok together. Her mother trained her in all aspects of running a restaurant.

“I was her apprentice,” Turner said. “It took me six months to be able to flip a wok correctly, one year to learn what goes in everything and how to make it, two years to perfect it and in three years I took over. I owned and ran Magic Wok for a year and eight months.”

With that knowledge it taught Turner how to manage the restaurant on her own.

“The customers loved when I made sure everything was correct and tasted sauces before going out,” Turner said. “That’s one thing I learned from watching cooking shows like ‘Master Chef.’”

Turner would make sure the business was successful even when she was exhausted.

“I always liked to ask how everything was because I care,” Turner said. “If I didn’t care, then it would show and never get solved. When customers have an issue then it was going to get taken care of and I was not going to let it go ignored.

“It was hard to get customer satisfaction if employees were going against the customers just because they did not want to do what was necessary. Making customer satisfaction was making customers happy so that they would come back.”

With her relentless dedication to customer satisfaction and managing the restaurant on her own, Turner hit her breaking point.

“I couldn’t run the business anymore because a good portion of the business was solely done by myself,” Turner said. “I couldn’t do it all anymore. Stay late then get up early to do it all over again. I was always getting sick because I wore my body out.”

With Magic Wok under new management, it is still in the same location on 117 W 3rd St #1, Wayne, Nebraska 68787.

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