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Hong Kong Buffet, which has been operating as drive-thru only since last March, officially opened their dining room on Tuesday, June 8.

Hong Kong Buffet in Branson reopened its dining room after a year of it being closed.

Owner Tommy Tran said they had to close their dining room last year when COVID-19 first shut everything down and officially reopened their dining room on Tuesday, June 8.

The restaurant, located at 1206 W. 76 Country Blvd., has been functioning as a drive-thru only since the closure but is excited to welcome people back inside.

“(I’m excited) to see all the local people. We’ve been in town for many, many years, and we are used to the atmosphere of talking to people, and we (haven’t) had that chance,” Tran said.

Hong Kong Buffet has been in the Branson area for 24 years and has been a staple in the community. The closure of the dining room has been hard on the restaurant and has decreased business, according to Tran.

“(We’ve had) a lot less people — more than half. I think we are 40% down compared to being opened,” Tran said. “It’s kind of good and bad. We have less employees, less payroll, but it’s less money. Just enough for us to pay bills. The benefit is we don’t have to throw any food away, every order we sold we made money.”

To keep a healthy environment, guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer and gloves when serving themselves from the buffet, but it is optional, Tran said.

The restaurant also announced its new business hours, which are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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