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The Third Generation Mr. Han: Alexander Han

Mr. Han's Restaurant, a Gainesville Culinary Legend

When did Mr. Han's Restaurant open?

Mr. Han’s Restaurant opened in 1976.

Has it always been at its current location?

No. Originally it was located on 13th Street, near the current location of La Tienda.

How did the Han Family come to Gainesville?

My grandparents were visiting a friend who was a professor at the University of Florida. Their friend was telling them how Gainesville did not have any Chinese restaurants. At the time my grandparents were living in Washington D.C. and worked at a restaurant in the Capital. My grandmother knew how hard my grandfather worked for someone else and convinced my grandfather to move to Gainesville so they could run their own Chinese restaurant. That was the birth of Mr. Han’s Restaurant.

What is your favorite part of the restaurant business?

I enjoy seeing people enjoy their meal. As a child I basically lived at the restaurant. I had a chance to meet my dad, Eric’s patrons. My dad never met a patron that didn’t become his friend. It sparked the love of people in me. Our customers have become our family.

When you walk into Mr. Han’s, there are large photos of your dad and past patrons in China. Can you tell us about those trips?

My dad would coordinate trips to China, two times a year for our patrons. He coordinated the entire trip with friends and family in China. Patrons loved being immersed in the real Chinese Culture and dad loved to share it with them.

Do you have a favorite dish?

The black pepper steak is definitely my favorite dish. It is so tender and different. It isn’t a complicated dish, but not simple either. I think it is just perfect.

Favorite Quote or inspiration?

Time does not wait for anyone. I never want to waste a moment of time. I run the family business because I enjoy being with people. I don’t sweat the small stuff either. I am a very positive person. When things do not work out, I don’t get down. I learn from them and move forward.

Mr. Han’s Restaurant has been a Gainesville tradition for over 46 years. Alexander Han loves being a part of Gainesville and providing the finest, most authentic Chinese food around. Mr. Han’s still hosts wedding receptions and private parties, with the beautiful side room available to serve over 120 patrons. Curious about your holiday office party or personal events? Stop by Mr. Han’s at 6944 Northwest 10th Place, Gainesville, FL 32605 or call at (352) 331-6400.  

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