Twenty-eight years ago, on January 20th, the culinary landscape of Warwick would be forever changed, as would the lives of many of the city’s residents. On this day, a young couple, Judy and Rickie Chin, would officially open the doors of their new restaurant, Jade Dragon Restaurant on Warwick Avenue.
Though exciting, the grand opening of Jade Dragon was not without its drama. Two weeks before the day they would take their first order, a frayed wire caused a fire to break out behind a wall in the restaurant. The fire department was called in and, once the damage was assessed, the task of reopening the restaurant loomed over the Chins like a dark cloud. It was the first of the year in the cold of winter – plumbers, electricians and carpenters were hard to find on such short notice.
For the Chins, who had so much invested in this new venture, this fire could have changed their whole narrative. Instead, miracles were wrought, and the right people stepped up to offer their skills and time. Carpenter Billy Talarosee and electrician Danny Barlow of B & B Electricians arrived on the scene to help rebuild Jade Dragon. Soon, a chance encounter with some plumbers yielded the final help they needed. Judy still gets choked up talking about this neighborly effort that would foretell how the Chins would be received in the years to come.
Jade Dragon Restaurant has staying power! Now, twenty-eight years later, this family-friendly, neighborhood “watering hole” and refuge from the world is still going strong! No one can testify of this better than longtime customer John DelGiudice who has known Judy since before 1993.
John DelGiudice loves everything about the Chins and Jade Dragon. Tonight, he has come with his family to eat some of his favorite food, though he has departed from his usual routine to have a Delmonico Steak. He started his night with the Fried Dumplings and his companions each had one of Jade Dragon’s combination platters – so tradition was not all lost! They all agree that Jade Dragon is known for its consistently delicious food, its family-friendly atmosphere where familiar faces are regularly seen, its nostalgic feeling and its helpful, “great” waitstaff (including Judy!)
Today, as Jade Dragon and its loyal patrons commemorate its 28th year, there is still a feeling of caution here. With Covid raging and a new president soon to be sworn in, our country and the world have undergone some tumultuous days. But the Jade Dragon family presses on, grateful for loyal customers who have kept them busy for nearly three decades ~ and counting.
Jade Dragon Restaurant is located at 1982 Warwick Avenue. Hours are Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm; and Friday and Sat, from 11 am to 10 pm. Closed on Mondays. Dine-in, delivery and take-out are all available. Call 401-732-9595. Check out their full menu at www.jadedragonri.com.