Instead of crab cakes and hot pork sandwiches, diners nibbled fried rice and soft noodles yesterday at a new Chinese restaurant in Ellicott City, on the former site of Buell's, once one of Howard County's oldest taverns.
Uncle Y.Y.'s Szechuan Restaurant opened its doors yesterday in the building that once housed Buell's, a 53-year-old restaurant that was known for its home-style food and as a gathering place for service clubs.
Buell's opened in 1939 and had stayed in the Buell family for three generations. It closed last year, after its owner, Trudy Buell, decided that the restaurant was too difficult to run and that there wasn't enough demand for family-style food.
Yesterday, except for a congratulatory wreath from Ms. Buell in the shape of the old restaurant's trademark horseshoe, there were no traces of the former roadside tavern at the new establishment.
Instead, the freshly painted red and white building is adorned with Chinese lanterns and newly planted flowers. Inside, pale pink and emerald-green decor elicited murmurs of approval from patrons.
Former Buell's diners discussed the differences between the two restaurants. "It's much more attractive," said Anne Ostrom, a former Buell's patron. "The whole interior is delightful."