B.C. Kowalski/City Pages

New owners Phoua and Xao Xiong operate Hmong Egg Rolls at its new location on Third Avenue.

A driver going past Hmong Eggrolls’ previous location on Thomas Street might see the empty building and fear the worst. But the restaurant isn’t closed; it relocated and expanded.

Hmong Eggrolls opened its new location with double the space and an expanded menu on Monday, Feb. 6 at 932 S. Third Ave. (the former Paradox Bar and, briefly, Third Street Cafe).

The city of Wausau late last year purchased the Thomas Street building to make way for the planned road expansion, prompting the change. Hmong Eggrolls founder Lee Lo is passing ownership of the business to family members Phoua and Xao Xiong, who had been already been involved in the restaurant. “We’ve had a lot of people walking in already checking to see if we’re open,” Lo says. “That’s good business.”

Hmong Eggrolls had been doing well before it closed Oct. 28, Lo says. They had a number of regular customers, several who came every day, Lo says.

The new restaurant features an expanded menu including more options for pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup), and new menu items such as roasted duck and whole roasted chicken. About 15 new items were added.

Pho and egg rolls were the most popular offerings at the Thomas Street location and that’s not expected to change. “I remember staying up until 2 am rolling egg rolls,” Lo says. “Each time we would roll 1,000 to 2,000 egg rolls.”

Phoua Xiong says they eventually want Hmong Eggrolls to be a late-night destination for patrons to sing karaoke and eat into the early morning hours.