was opened by Rich Chey in 1997. Chey is no stranger to the restaurant business. In 1995 he opened his first restaurant in the Atlanta area. Originally from the northeastern United States, Rich has modeled Doc Chey's after authentic China Town inspired noodle houses.
Patch: What are some of your most popular dishes?
Rich: We have dim sum, which are appetizers, soups, salads, noodle bowls and stirfrys. We just recently added a category that we call street food which are hand held items. Probably our most popular dishes are our noodle bowls. That's what we started with and what we're known for. We also sell a lot of dim sum, our dumplings and eggrolls.
Patch: What is the atmosphere you have tried to create at Doc Chey's?
Rich: One of the things that motivated us to open in this neighborhood is that at the time we opened there weren't that many family friendly restaurants. We wanted people to feel comfortable bringing their kids here. At that point my partner and I had very young kids and the demographic of the Highlands seemed to be changing. We wanted to offer an alternative. We looked at it like we are a restaurant that has adult food where kids can eat also. The parents and the families have liked us because we offer something different than hamburgers and chicken fingers. The kids come here and they actually eat vegetables which the parents like. One of my inspirations 20 years ago for Doc Chey's was when I was travelling in Japan. They have ramen houses and ramen houses are like Waffle Houses here. You can go in and eat very quickly and eat very affordably and it was very comfortable. So for us we wanted to mimic that. We wanted to create a place where people can say hey I belong here, this is my noodle shop.
Patch: What makes your restaurant unique?
Rich: Our motto is let's bring noodles to the people. Especially when we opened the restaurant 14 years ago, we were the least expensive restaurant in the neighborhood. There are a lot of restauranteurs that look at their menu and the way they price it is how much can we charge for this? Our question has always been how little can we charge for this and still make our model work? We want people to come in and feel like they got more for their money and we want to leave some money in their pocket because they'll come in and see us again. I think by offering value, especially with the way the economy is now, people really appreciate that.
Patch: What is something guests may not realize on their first visit to Doc Chey's?
Rich: I think one of the things people don't realize is that we make everything from scratch. For instance if you come in here at lunch it looks like more of a fast casual restaurant. You're going to order at the counter, you're going to sit down and we're going to bring your food to you and you'll get in and out of here in about an hour. But everything you're eating, whether it's the dumplings or the rolls or any of our dim sum, it's all hand made. Every onion or piece of broccoli or red pepper in your bowl has been cut by hand. From the kitchen door back we're a full serviced restaurant and we do everything the old fashioned way.
Located at 1424 N. Highland Ave., Doc Chey's is open Sunday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.