Tony Hu’s sentencing was supposed to happen in August. While that gets sorted out, news broke that he’s expanding, opening a Lao Sze Chuan in Mesa, Ariz. The Arizona Republic reported that Hu will open his ninth restaurant later this month.
Meanwhile, Crain’s reported Hu will be sentenced on Nov. 18 and faces 41 to 51 months in prison after he pled guilty to a battery of federal charges, including wire fraud and laundering almost $9.8 million. His existing restaurants have been unaffected since his May arraignment.
Lao Sze Chuan won’t be the first Chicago-based restaurant to open an Arizona location. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and others have gone to a state where many Chicagoans flock to as senior citizens. It remains to be seen if this is as good idea for those older residents who may not have the right constitution for Lao Sze Chuan’s spicy Sichuan flavors.
Crain’s reported that Hu was to be sentenced on Aug. 22, but that’s been already twice delayed. The expansion is a turn of events, as he sold off many of his restaurants in February 2015.