On Friday night, Ichi Sushi reopened in its original location at 3369 Mission St. (at 30th Street). Husband-and-wife co-owners Tim and Erin Archuleta had previously closed their larger location, Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar (3282 Mission St.) on New Year's Day, after just under three years.
After Tim suffered a recent health scare, he and Erin decided to scale back by returning to their original 21-seat spot, which had been sitting empty after stints as an oyster bar and a space for pop-ups.
“Simpler is better,” said Erin, noting that the couple refer to the smaller space, which they first opened in 2010, as their “living room.”
“It’s like you are a guest in someone’s home, especially because everyone is sitting at one table," she said.
Tim, the restaurant's executive chef, and chef/kitchen manager Max Bauer will continue to serve sustainable fish and seasonal nigiri and sashimi from the sushi bar, including an omakase menu. The menu will also include a handful of rotating “favorite” hot dishes from the larger location, as the new location has a much smaller kitchen. Wine, sake, and beer will continue to be offered as well.
In the new location, the sushi bar seats nine people. Erin thinks it’s important to have separate tables for kids, so there are also a few tables for two, and one four-person table that could feasibly fit six people.
Despite the couple's recent struggles, returning to the old space is "like a homecoming," said Erin, who also resides in the neighborhood with her husband. “Kids who used to come in around the time we opened in 2010 are now returning for their proms and birthdays," and couples who got engaged there have dropped in to eat and reminisce.
The design for the space was led by Shasta Olarte, with the goal of resembling the sea. “[Olarte] is so thoughtful of the diners’ experience, even down to the way the water glasses look," said Erin.
The restaurant is currently accepting walk-ins for dinner service (hours are 5:30-10pm Monday-Thursday, 5:30-11pm Friday-Saturday, and 5:30-9:30pm Sunday), with reservations launching on January 10th. Erin says they'll also eventually offer lunch service on weekdays (11am-2pm), though no date has been set. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest.
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