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EAST MARLBOROUGH — Two married entrepreneurs, Tony Liu and Suki Liu, have invested more of their hopes and dreams into the community.
On October 11, the Liu family opened their new restaurant, a fine dining establishment just south of Longwood Gardens, called GuGu Asian Table at 938 E Baltimore Pike.
A decade ago, the pair relocated to Kennett Square from New York City to open their very first establishment: Lily Asian Cuisine Sushi & Grill at 104 W State St, Kennett Square.
Tony and Suki fell in love after meeting one another during their youth as neighbors who grew up in Fujian, China.
The couple, who are the parents of two teen daughters, moved to America in 1995.
Tony’s artistic and refined palate is clearly expressed with vision not only across the menus of both Lily and GuGu, but especially now at the new establishment — the ambience of the restaurant includes wall-to-wall handcrafted oak panels, coupled with stone. The look brings patrons directly to the absence of Asia rather than the typical countryside or modern designs found more often than not across popular dining establishments across the region.
Located in the heart of Southern Chester County near Kennett Square and the soul of the region just south of Longwood Gardens, GuGu features a wide variety of high-end dishes from the bang bang shrimp to the bluefin tuna toro, which is featured on the dinner tasting menu.
As a chef, and artist, Tony works on the refined taste of the food he prepares. The combination of various elements featured in any given dish, coupled with the presentation, equate to tasting experience.
During the pandemic shutdown of 2020, Lily Asian Cuisine Sushi in Kennett Square never closed, offering patrons takeout and delivery orders via DoorDash.
“Thanks for supporting us in 2020,” Tony said. “The government of Kennett Square supported us in tough times.”
Suki concurred. “Kennett borough helped us out a lot.”
The pair said patrons also helped support Lily Asian Cuisine Sushi during the shutdown by continuously ordering takeout and also leaving very generous tips.
The Suki family said they never let go of any employee during the shutdown. Only hours were reduced, as indoor dining was not allowed by order of state decree for many months in 2020 for all restaurants in the Commonwealth.
Both Lily and GuGu are open 7 days a week. Each establishment is closed one day a year on Thanksgiving.
The Liu family has a staff of 50 people who work at either or both restaurants.
“They’re all friends,” Suki said.
“I like to hire people who want to work,” Tony said.
Further, Tony said the greatest lesson he learned in 2020 was that everyone working and dining at Lily Asian Cuisine Sushi was part of a family.
Afterward, the pair named their new restaurant GuGu because the word is symbolic for “family” in Chinese, translating specifically to “sister” and “auntie.”
“The Lily customers are my family,” Suki said.