SMALL RESTAURANT IS A BIG HIT
Even after the regular lunch crowd cleared out, and the Razorbacks' first kickoff of the season was minutes away, the Heights' Sushi Café had few empty seats for people stopping by for a mid-afternoon snack.
Rita Richardson and Kelsie Holmes took a seat near the sushi bar filled with fresh mango, tuna, salmon, yellowtail and roe.
Richardson says she absolutely loves the Sushi Café as she waits for her sea bass lunch and green dragon rolls. In addition to handmade sushi, the restaurant offers a number of non-sushi items such as Kobe meats, seafood and lots more.
"It's the best in town, and they have such a good sushi menu," says Richardson who lives in nearby Hillcrest. Her friend, Kelsie Holmes of west Little Rock, quickly nods her head in agreement.
"We were so excited when we heard they were expanding," Richardson says. For co-owner Robert Tju that's good news.
Tju and Lulu Chi, already a well-known Little Rock restaurateur, opened the café at the corner of Kavanaugh and North Grant about three years ago. The small spot was a hit from the start.
"It's never been slow," Tju says. Right from the restaurant's opening, the place was packed at lunch and dinner, and as their crowds continued to grow even larger, Tju says, "We watched carefully and decided we needed a bigger space."
So most of September he worked on expanding the restaurant into the space next door. It will double the dining capacity to 65 seats, as well as offer heated or cooled year-round patio dining and a larger bar. He hopes the work is completed by the end of October.
In the meantime, Tju doesn't mind if hungry people leave his restaurant for nearby spots like Fantastic China, Boulevard Bread, ZaZa's or Café Prego. The more eateries there are along the boulevard, the more likely diners will see the Heights as the dining destination it is, he says.