An upscale Chinese restaurant is opening on downtown’s West Side this weekend. Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen at 218 President St. will open for dinner at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Karalee Nielsen, who co-owns the restaurant with Lily Lei.

Nielsen is also part-owner of restaurants such as Closed for Business, Taco Boy and Poe’s Tavern. Lee Lee’s is her first venture with Lei, who hired Nielsen 20 years ago at a restaurant in Utah. It was her first job in the food and beverage industry.

“I’m excited to finally work with Lily after all this time,” Nielsen said.

While she describes the new restaurant as “mid to upscale,” Nielsen said the traditional Chinese dishes are priced in the $12 to $14 range.

Repair referrals

Lowe’s is doing some home improvement of its own, and it’s starting with stores in the Palmetto State.

The Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer this week announced a partnership with Porch.com to better connect its customers with nearby service professionals. Stores in South Carolina, North Carolina and the Seattle area will be the first ones to offer the new technology, Lowe’s said in a statement this week.

Porch.com, which is less than a year old, collects data about home-improvement projects across the country and offers recommendations on local repair experts, plumbers and other home service workers.

“Through this strategic partnership, Porch will serve as a resource for Lowe’s employees to help customers connect directly with the right pros to provide services Lowe’s does not currently offer through its installation program,” according to the statement.

Playing for keeps

Bartons Toys has moved around a bit in the last year, but owner Erastus Corning said the new location in Mount Pleasant’s Shelmore Village will be the toy shop’s permanent home.

The shop moved in March from downtown Charleston’s King Street after 16 years and relocated to the shopping center near I’On Village in Mount Pleasant. The shop moved again this month to a larger space in the center at 708 S. Shelmore Blvd., near Mathis Ferry Road

A grand reopening will be held 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 25. The event features free children’s activities, giveaways and a book signing by local author Randy Bazemore, who wrote “The Legend of Putter Frog.”

New tenants

A smoothie and juice bar has leased a 1,200-square-foot space in the Shops of Mount Pleasant at 320 W. Coleman Blvd. The business hasn’t established a name yet, but it’s expected to open this spring.

A new gym is also heading east of the Cooper. Iron Tribe Fitness has leased 4,200 square feet in New Market Centre at 1145 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail