Press Club

(Updated at 4 p.m.) A new sushi restaurant has opened in Rosslyn in a long-vacant, off-the-beaten-path space.

Japanese restaurant Yuraku opened about two weeks ago for lunch and dinner, manager Mike Kim tells ARLnow, at 1850 Fort Myer Drive. That’s the long-vacant ground floor commercial space inside of the Turnberry Tower condo building a few blocks from the Rosslyn Metro station.

This is the eatery’s second location, with the original in Germantown, Maryland. The menu at the Arlington spot focuses on Japanese staples like sushi, katsu, tempura, sashimi, and donburi.

Yuraku ownership eyed Rosslyn for its expansion because of the vibrant community filled with residents and office workers that was lacking good neighborhood sushi options, Kim says.

Business has been good so far but there remains the sense the neighborhood doesn’t quite know Yuraku is there yet, he notes. The space is back from the main street with the patio and front door somewhat obscured by shrubs and trees.

The positive of the space, says Kim, is that it provides privacy for those eating on the large outdoor patio.

It was more than a year ago when ARLnow first reported the Maryland-based sushi spot was moving across the river into Rosslyn. That somewhat-hard-to-see space on Fort Myer Drive has seen a good amount of past turnover. It was once home to Secret Chopsticks and Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine, but both closed less than 18 months after opening.

The space remained vacant for close to four and a half years until Yurkau opened earlier this month.

While there’s no immediate expansion plans beyond Rosslyn in the works, Kim says it’s “possible” that they could look to bring their Japanese restaurant to other Arlington locations in the future.

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Japanese restaurant Yuraku is looking to open in Rosslyn by next month.

The Germantown-based sushi spot is aiming to start serving by early April, a co-owner says. The menu likely will be “slightly different” than the menu at the Maryland location, we’re told.

There will also be both outdoor and indoor seating. A permit issued in the summer notes that a new sushi bar was added, in addition to other changes including alterations to the kitchen.

ARLnow first reported nearly a year ago that the restaurant was moving into the long-vacant ground floor restaurant space of the Turnberry Tower condo building at 1850 Fort Myer Drive, a block or two from the Rosslyn Metro station.

The off-the-beaten path location, which is somewhat obscured by shrubs, was previously home to Secret Chopsticks and Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine. Both restaurants closed in relative short order. The space has been vacant for more than four years.

Yuraku first opened in Germantown in 1998, per its website, and serves sushi, sake, udon noodles, sashimi, tempura, and other Japanese fare. The name “Yuraku” translates to “pleasure,” according to a trademark filing.

Hat tip to Edward MacNabb

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Sushi restaurant Kusshi at Westpost (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Kusshi, known for its sushi and sake, is aiming for an early April opening at Westpost.

The Bethesda-based, high-end Japanese restaurant first announced it was coming to the Pentagon City retail center in June 2021, filling the space once occupied by Nepalese eatery Namaste Everest. That restaurant closed about two years after opening.

Now, Kusshi is hoping to open its doors in less than two months at 1201 S. Joyce Street.

Kusshi was initially supposed to start serving by the end of last year, but delays typical these days (supply chain, permitting, materials) forced the opening back by several months.

Kusshi co-owner Tony Chow tells ARLnow that they decided to make the move to Westpost because the development is owned by the same developer Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) as Bethesda’s Pike & Rose, where the restaurant opened its first location in 2018.

Chow also notes Amazon’s growing presence in the neighborhood as another major reason for choosing Pentagon City for its next location.

There will be indoor and outdoor seating and the menu will be “similar” as the Bethesda location, Chow says. That includes sushi, sashimi, ramen, katsu, sake, and other Japanese fare. The restaurant also offers omakase, a formal meal left to the chef’s choice.

Westpost has changed drastically over the last two years. That even includes the center’s name, changing from Pentagon Row to Westpost in late 2020.

A number of buzzy restaurants opened last year, including Cathal Armstrong’s Mattie and Eddie’s, Lucky Danger, and Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream.

There are still several more looking to start serving in 2022, including Nighthawk Pizza and Banditos Bar & Kitchen. Target is also planning to open a 34,000 square-foot store in the former Bed, Bath, & Beyond space.

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Takohachi Japanese Restaurant sign at Penrose Square (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Takohachi Japanese Restaurant is planning to reopen along Columbia Pike, albeit at a different shopping center.

The restaurant expects to open within the next month at Penrose Square, the owner tells ARLnow, provided it can secure the proper county permits in time.

The sushi restaurant was one of the last holdouts at Westmont Shopping Center prior to the development’s demolition to make way for a six-story mixed-use building. It there in early July, but it was reported at that time that Takohachi was set to move into the space formerly occupied by Josephine’s Italian Kitchen, below the Giant supermarket.

That space in the Columbia Pike development hasn’t been occupied in more than two years and has been somewhat of a revolving door in terms of tenants. Prior to Josephine’s, Marble & Rye and Red Rocks had been in the space. Both eateries closed without making it two years in that location.

The newly-renamed Columbia Pike Partnership helped Takohachi make its move down the Pike.

“Columbia Pike Partnership has been actively engaged with Takohachi, the owner, their representatives, BM Smith, and the County in effort to welcome Takohachi to its updated location on Columbia Pike,” writes CPP spokesperson Andrea Avendano to ARLnow. “We are glad to assist Takohachi in continuing to call Columbia Pike home.”

Initially, Takohachi was expected to open earlier this fall, but supply chain issues (recently, a common refrain) and securing proper permits pushed the timeline by a few months.

While the sushi restaurant has found a new home after exiting Westmont Shopping Center, Mom’s Pizza hasn’t. The pizza and Greek restaurant was on the Pike for more than three decades before being ousted due to the redevelopment. The owners of Mom’s are currently selling a few of their more popular dishes online, but told ARLnow back in March they had no plans to retire and wanted to revive the restaurant elsewhere.

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A Bethesda-based sushi restaurant known for its high-end rolls and selection of Japanese liquors appears to be expanding into Pentagon Row.

The new eatery, Kusshi, is planning to open in the space currently occupied by Nepalese and Indian restaurant Namaste Everest (1201 S. Joyce Street), according to Kusshi’s co-founder, Tony Chow.

“We’re hoping [to open] before the end of the year,” he said.

Namaste Everest, the Arlington outpost of Namaste in Alexandria, opened in summer 2019, in the storefront that formerly housed a Noodles & Co. location.

Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns Pentagon Row — recently rebranded “Westpost” — was not immediately available to comment. The Rockville-based company also owns Pike and Rose, the mixed-use development in North Bethesda where Kusshi is currently located.

A restaurant employee from Namaste Everest could not confirm the change.

Chow said he has been eyeing an expansion into Arlington for almost two years, adding that he intends to tap into the area’s “live, work and play” lifestyle.

“Arlington has a lot of business and commerce and has Amazon HQ2 going there as well,” he said. “We like to go to mixed-use developments, which is part of our success at Pike and Rose.”

Chow plans to bring to Westpost a large assortment of Japanese whisky and sake to sip while dining on the restaurant’s traditional sushi rolls and higher-end offerings, like wagyu beef and sea urchin.

“Our staff… have gone through courses about sake, there is quite a lot of knowledge there,” he said, adding that diners will be able to learn about the different drinks and sample them.

Chow has another sushi place in Bethesda named Hanaro, a smaller-scale restaurant.

Photo (2) via Kusshi/Instagram

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(Updated on 08/06/19) A Ballston sushi restaurant has re-opend after being closed “for repairs” last week.

The Sushi2Go by the entrance to the Ballston Metro’s “Darth Vader canopy” on 901 N. Stuart Street had previously closed for repairs, according to a sign on its door.

The handwritten note thanked customers with a smiley face, but did not contain any information on when the eatery could re-open. On Tuesday, August 6, the eatery is now serving customers once again.

Calls for more information to the number listed on the “We’re Hiring” sign — also posted on the business’s windows — were not answered. No other contact information could be located.

Sushi2Go originally opened in the small space inside the Metro plaza back in 2015 and gained popularity for the low prices of its maki rolls — most recently for its offer of three roll combo lunch deal for $13.

Owner Unsook Kim told ARLnow at the time that she was inspired to open up the take-out business after seeing ready-made sushi chain stores in New York City.

“This is my own style,” she said. “Young people love sushi.”

Kim’s eatery replaced Prime Fresh Deli which once served up smoothies, sandwiches, and wraps in the same space.

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Takeshi Sushi — a new Japanese restaurant at 2424 Wilson Blvd — is planning an opening sometime in May.

Owner Wu Lin said the restaurant is planning to offer sushi, ramen, and other Japanese food in a quick-service style eatery.

The new restaurant is located next to Delhi Dhaba Indian Restaurant and under Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill. Takeshi Sushi is replacing a Subway that closed in November.

Lin said the restaurant is his first location, but they are planning to simultaneously open another Takeshi Sushi in the Fairfax Circle Shopping Center, in the Fairlee neighborhood of Fairfax.

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A create-your-own sushi restaurant in Rosslyn has now shut its doors.

Sign posted at Rolls By U, located at 1713 Wilson Blvd in the Colonial Village Shopping Center, indicate that the eatery is now closed.

Yelp reviewers and ARLnow readers reported that the location seems to have shut down in early December.

Rolls by U opened in 2015, serving up bowls, rolls and even sushi burritos. Its owners also backed a Courthouse restaurant, the Guarapo Lounge, but that also shuttered in 2016.

The restaurant also has a location in D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, which seems to still be open.

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East Falls Church is now set to welcome a new sushi restaurant before the month is out.

Yume Sushi, located at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street, plans to open “in the last few weeks of October,” according to a press release. The eatery originally hoped to open last fall, but ran into some delays securing building permits.

The restaurant is backed by executive chef and co-owner Saran Kannasute, who was previously the executive chef at Alexandria’s The Sushi Bar and has worked at Sushi Rock in Courthouse, and has room for about 100 people.

Kannasute plans to serve not only an “extensive” selection of sushi rolls for a traditional dining experience, but he’ll also offer limited reservations for “Omakase dining,” stemming from the Japanese phrase that roughly translates to “I shall leave it up to you.” The two-hour Omakase sessions will allow chefs to “exert complete creative freedom and technique in curating their dishes with the finest and freshest ingredients available,” while crafting meals in front of diners, according to the release.

The restaurant also expects to stock more than 90 different sakes, which Kannasute claims will be one of the largest selections in the D.C. region. Yume’s bar will also include sake cocktails, seasonal sake varieties, a sake on tap and even Japanese whiskeys.

Yume will be located in the same building as a South Block juice bar, just down the street from the East Falls Church Metro station.

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Asiatique, a “Cajun seafood and sushi lounge,” will be holding a soft opening Thursday (May 17) in Clarendon, according to a restaurant rep.

Starting Thursday until the end of May, the restaurant — located at 3225 Washington Blvd., on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building — will offer restaurant-goers 25 percent off its meals.

Signs were up in January and the restaurant’s owner previously told ARLnow that it would likely open in mid-February. Recently the restaurant placed a lighted “open” sign on the window.

Food on the menu includes fried baskets, with options ranging from chicken tenders to oysters, and a wide variety of sushi offerings, which range in price from $6-$18.

The restaurant also offers blue crab, crawfish, crab legs, shrimp, mussels and steamed scallops. Alongside the seafood orders, customers can choose a sauce to accompany each dish and choose a level of spiciness.

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A fast-casual sushi restaurant appears to be moving into Virginia Square, but details are sparse.

An application filed with Virginia ABC indicates that Snap-A-Roll will be arriving at 3811 Fairfax Drive, in the same building as a Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the now-closed Water & Wall restaurant.

The space occupied by Water & Wall is still vacant, while another first-floor retail space is listed as being for lease.

In a brief interview this morning with ARLnow.com, the person whose phone number is listed with the ABC application declined to go into details about the new restaurant, or give his name.

“We’re still in the process of getting set up, so I have no specific information to give you,” he said.

The eatery shares a name with the Williamsburg, Va.-based Snap-A-Roll. On its Facebook page, it describes itself as “a revolutionary way to enjoy fresh, healthy and affordable sushi, hibachi and Asian cuisine.”

The restaurant became embroiled in controversy last month after it closed, with disagreement over whether it was for good or for a few weeks to carry out renovations.

In announcing its closure, the company’s Facebook page published a since-deleted post criticizing management and saying that employees did not know when it would reopen.

But the man who answered the phone declined to say much on whether this Virginia Square outpost is connected to that existing restaurant.

“There are some connections, but I do not have any specific information on that,” he said.

Photo No. 3 via Google Maps

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